A Korean venture start-up has developed an inaudible sound sequence, which it claims can prevent obsessive use of online games, thus giving hope to game addicts.
Xtive on Monday said the sound sequence is based on subliminal effects.
''We incorporated messages into an acoustic sound wave telling gamers to stop playing. The messages are told 10,000 to 20,000 times per second,'' Xtive President Yun Yun-hae said.
''Game users can't recognize the sounds. But their subconscious is aware of them and the chances are high they will quit playing,'' the 35-year-old Yun said. ''Tests tell us the sounds work.''
Xtive, which was established in 2005, spent about a year to create the sound sequence geared toward addressing the concern that Korean teenagers spend too much time playing computer games.
The addiction to the network games has turned into a serious social problem and some gamers have even died after long sessions in front of the computer.
Experts point out roughly 10 to 20 percent of high school students can be categorized as Web junkies who need treatment. And many believe that is a conservative perspective.