Preventing Video Game Addiction… With Subliminal Noises?

from the maybe-it-will-cure-gullibility-as-well dept

Let’s take two things that might not really exist, video game addiction and behavior-influencing subliminal sound effects, and why not combine them? At least that’s what one Korean startup is trying to do, apparently. They claim they have a system that uses subliminal noises to prevent video game addiction, though it’s not quite clear how it works. The company, of course, claims that tests show the system works, though that doesn’t explain the various studies suggesting there’s really no such thing as video game addiction. Perhaps it really just makes a very quiet noise that annoys people enough that they want to get away. Either way, with “addiction” fear always high among parents, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that this company actually has some demand, even if it doesn’t really do much.

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Comments on “Preventing Video Game Addiction… With Subliminal Noises?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: useless

Maybe they could have it as an option. By default it is turned off.

BUT if you want to limit your use, you could go to settings for the game and turn it on. And it could get really annoying after playing it for so long. Maybe it builds up over time so if you play for two hours you just have a massive headache….oh wait, that already happens.

Why is there no such thing as video game addiction? You can have an addiction to anything.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Highly effective

Dear Chief Elf,

I am writing on behalf of the USPTO to inform you that your request for a patent on “elephant repellant” is denied due to case(s) of prior art.

You see, (m|b|gaz)illions of gamers the world over are already using severe body odor as a “female repellent”.

Sincerely, USPTO Clerk

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Stuff the elephant repellant

go for my new, amazing, protective amulets. protect against werewolves, vampires, ogres, trolls (except my brotehr but he doesn’t count because even trolls think he’s too thick an annoying to be in thier species), and otehr magical creatures.
it works, I have never even seen on eof these listed creatures, let alone been attacked by one. A bargin, a lifetime of protection for just $999.99. buy yours today.

seriously, you could use the mosquito ringtone to annoy the gamer, gradually getting louder.

Casper says:

I don't get it...

So rather then teaching people self control, we redesign the way products function to accommodate their weakness? I know that some people are more disposed to addiction then others, but I don’t see cigarettes making irritating subliminal messages every time you pick up a pack. Does a bottle of Jack scream profanities at you when you take more then a sip?

Come on people. If someone can not control themselves in a game, there are bigger problems then the game. Those people have serious problems that can not be remedied by an annoying subliminal message. All that can hope to achieve in a best case scenario is to move their addition to something else… possibly something more damaging to their physical being.

Thinking should come before doing (also applies to sex).

Tin Ear says:

Re: TV versus Video Games

Close to the point, you get a half a star. The thing is that TV is paid for by people watching the ads. They want your butt on the couch for the longest time possible. Video games don’t have ads for products every 11 minutes. If they did, people would probably not play them.

Maybe the TV industry invented “Video Game Addiction” as a way to get people back to being couch potatoes?

Vogue says:


While I’m not really sure if there is a Nintendo User’s Anonymous, there probably should be! It’s laughable to say there is no such thing as video game addiction! Have you seen the latest sales results on the XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation 3??? Frankly, I’m proud to be a video game addict. I am trying to compile a list of all the games I have ever played, and it is proving to be quite the task. Between Commodore 64, Tandy Coco3, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Sega Genesis, Apple, PS1, PS2, PS3, Dreamcast, Gameboy, XBOX, and XBOX 360 (not to mention any arcade games or PC games) I have compiled a list well over 25,000 at this point. Addiction??? I think so. And I’m damn proud of it!

The day anyone puts a time limit on my game play is the day I find myself moving somewhere that the term freedom is understood. If someone can’t deal with what I choose to do with my spare time, then they probably need to be in BBA (Busy Bodies Anonymous!)

And I don’t know about anyone else, but that stupid mosquito sound makes me sick to my stomach. Start adding that to anything I enjoy and I’m likely to go ballistic on your arse. Again, BBA is recruiting. Let me enjoy my life and you enjoy yours. Thanks!

hmm says:


Not the way I would approach it, since addition, as MANY have said, knows many avenues. I have experienced video game addiction at times, playing a game for hours, losing track of time, wishing the game had a built in clock to remind me of reality. I have had to uninstall two games for exactly that reason, because it was starting to eat away at my life. I have never experienced addiction to anything else (unless you count sex, and I’m going to stick with that one).
I found that I enjoyed games that allowed me some measure of instant success, something granted more rapidly than in real life, and allowed for an escape, and I find that this is the root or core of most addictions, an escape from reality. Help people find a way to live a better life, and you take away their need to escape reality, addiction loses its luster.
Often, the things I am trying to escape (if you will) really provide more than enough challenge if I will just take the time to vanquish them, instead of finding an absorbing diversion).

Chris says:

I think most parents are missing the point.

To me gaming has always been a form of social interaction. Back when I had an Atari through SNES I’d invite friends over and we’d engange in an activity we found mutualy entertaining. Even if it was just a single player “puzzle” game such as zelda, it would make us interact with each other stimulating our teamwork abliites. One person might remember something the other didn’t, and thus a collaborative effort to reach a goal was achieved. I’m not saying this is the best way to develop such social skills, but there’s deffinately something benefical to be had.

When it comes to MMORPG’s you and your Real life friends now have a source of entertainment that only costs $15m. So for as long as you want you can engage in a social interaction with your friends, and even 100’s of other people. Doing a quest, or dungeon crawl requires ecah individual to know the benefits of their character, and helps develop teamwork skills. Now if you want your kid to get out of the house, you can spend $30 on gas, food, and a movie ticket to just have him sit in front of a screen for 2 hours. There’s obvioulsy many cons in just sitting in front of a computer hours on end, but I think too many people are trying to build it up to the downfall of child development.

Personally I leanred more from ditching school and playing online games, because of the discussions I would have with other people. They would start talking about something that peaked my interest and I would research it further. Back when Duke Nukem 3D came out and had the first online multiplayer I knew of, I had to find out what TCPIP was all about to get the game working; had to learn some basic DOS commands as well. Now 10 years later after constantly educating myself on ways to improve my computer performance to enhance the gaming quality, I’ve learned enough skills to work for an ISP doing network consulting, and computer diagnostics. Obviously the market for this sort of thing is extremly flooded, and trying to do this as your only career path is quite generaly a bad decision. The point is that all the hours where you think your kid’s just rotting in front of a screen are actualy intellectualy stimulating, and with the right guidence it can be used as an educational tool.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I think most parents are missing the point.

Well that was painful to read. Dropping out of school = loss of communication skills. Sure you will make lots of friends and have endless hours of stimulating entertainment in MMORPG’s, but you will never gain proper communication skills. And your job, was there an essay section on your application? I am guessing, no.

billy says:

video gaming addict

Amen, I am an addict and proud of it.
Always will be.
And I agree with the TV thing, its just another passtime.
Just because i choose not to be bombarded with adverts (the reasion i stopped watching TV back when actually) does not mean I should be put down / looked down upon / made fun of / studied as an outsider / etc etc.
If others can’t deal with it, I laugh at them for their prejudice and hypocrisy.
I chose my addiction and I am sticking with it.

ReDeYeZ says:

My bad

Yes, you’re right about the definition of addiction, (or loose interpretation thereof) but considering the source of this particular article, “The Korea Times,” it’s easy to become confused:


“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. “

…Silly me, to have misinterpreted “addiction and its subliminal treatment,” with “humane coercion through subliminal Pavlovian brainwashing.”

Cixelsid says:


Old fogies are just upset because they can’t understand that social interaction can take place on a different level than face to face. In 30 years we’ll all be jacking in and choosing our representative avatars based on how we feel that day, so even if you’re a fifty yr old fat bearded retard you can still feel like a sexy nurse with bosoms the size of moscow.

I look forward to that day.

Chris says:

Anon Coward

Well I think my point’s even more proven when people like Anon Coward reply with statements like:

“Well that was painful to read. Dropping out of school = loss of communication skills.”

I’m assuming you’re a college graduate or something to that effect. Yet, even with your glorious degree you still can’t derive the overall theme of a work, or even notice the difference between the word “ditching” and “dropping.” So allow me to fill you in. My post was about how MMORPG’s and Video Games actually give kids a more useful education in developing critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills than most under funded schools across America can. Even summarized with my closing sentence of:

“The point is that all the hours where you think your kid’s just rotting in front of a screen are actually intellectually stimulating, and with the right guidance it can be used as an educational tool.”

As far as missing out on those key communication skills, ironic that I end up working in the telecommunication industry. And no I didn’t have to submit an essay to get my job position. Thankfully my bosses are smart enough to know that interviewing a person face to face and asking the right questions, and getting responses on-the-fly, will give a better overall depiction of a persons character and knowledge, than if they had a couple days to draft up the best possible “essay” they can.

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