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Gaming Giant Netmarble Develops Blockchain-powered Way to Cap Kids’ Gaming Time

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Finally, a developer has come up with a blockchain application your mom will approve of: Netmarble, a South Korean video games giant, has created a blockchain-powered tool that it says will allow parents to monitor and limit their offspring’s gaming time.

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Per media outlet Inven, the tool is the brainchild of Netmarble, which has lodged a patent application for the innovation with the Korean Intellectual Property Office.

Netmarble is one of South Korea’s biggest gaming firms, and has developed titles such as Everybody’s Marble and Marvel: Future Fight. It is part-owned by the Chinese gaming giant Tencent and fellow gaming giant NCSoft also owns a minority stake.

The new tool, which makes use of what the company says is a tamper-proof smart contract ecosystem, lets parents dish out rewards to children who stay within gaming cap guidelines they have agreed to as a family. Children who disregard gaming limit times, however, can be punished with “fines.”

However, rather than hitting cash-strapped teens in the pocket, it appears that the Netmarble platform instead punishes time limit-busting youths with future reprimands.

For instance, if children agree to limit their playing time on a game to 10 hours a month, they will be rewarded with an extra hour next month if they only spend nine hours on the title in a four-week period. But if they exceed that same limit by an hour this month, next month they will only be allowed nine hours of gaming time.

The firm said that it has developed the tool in response to World Health Organization (WHO) guidance that suggests children are becoming increasingly susceptible to video game addiction. The WHO listed video game addiction as a new mental health condition in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases database, published back in 2018.
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