Young gamers in Korea have turned from national phenomena to national concern -- some have actually managed to "game" themselves to death, while blank stares and friendlessness are more common occurrences among the obsessed
. Attempting to flip the switch on this unfortunate outcome of pwning, Venture start-up Xtive proposes to subliminally convince these kids to kick the habit by exposing them to an inaudible repetitive message. "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," explains Yun Yun-hae, president of Xtive. (Isn't that a little, um, fast?) The company has applied for a domestic patent and plans to commercialize the phonogram in cahoots with the government and game companies, which he hopes will incorporate triggers for the phonograms after games are played for a certain amount of time.
Xtive also hopes to move beyond this application, applying their technology to other areas; Yun creepily tops it all off by adding, "We can easily change the messages. In this sense, the potential for this technology is exponential." You want to talk about video game zombies? Here we go.