Mobile games threatening to kill kids? Can blockchain provide more transparency in app stores?

January 25, 2018


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App stores have come under more scrutiny lately, especially those that release playful games that insinuate killing the gamers.

There have been complaints around the speed it takes for apps to end up in players’ hands from the moment developers release them. And concerns over charges the producers of apps incur before their work is published, too.

But an app which threatens to murder its users? Sounds like a call for an overhaul if there ever was one.

The Manchester Evening News in the UK reported that a number of parents discovered that a game aimed at children, Blaze and the Monster Machines, made threats to its users.

Parents noticed that while their young ones were on the app, they would receive a call, which would start off in a friendly tone, welcoming them to the game.

But then it would then change and say: “Is it this knife in my whirly twirly hands? Making you a little nervous ha?

“That’s all right ’cause this is knife is gonna improve your look when it’s sticking right out of you.”

The horrified parents immediately reported the game, UK media has reported, and since then, the Google Play Store has taken the app down.

This has prompted worries about the two huge, main app stores not doing enough to screen their content.

Although it isn’t the only worry.

There have been concerns surrounding the fact that the app world has become a monopoly – Google Play and the App Store being the biggest players – and the fact a developer has to sell an iOS app through the Apple’s store and not other online stores is unfair for a while now.

Could blockchain provide solutions to this, then?

Two tech startups certainly think so. Blockchain technology platform, DECENT, has partnered with the Dragonfly, a distribution platform for games to find an answer.

The pair this month announced the launch of ALAX – a project aiming to utilize blockchain to improve the speed and efficiency of app sales.

DECENT will help Dragonfly reduce costs, tackle piracy issues and speed up exchange rates payment processing.

Usually, when people buy apps they use their cards, PayPal or make payments using SMS – where mobile network operators would take anything from 50-70 percent commission from the price paid by the user for an app or game. ALAX will reduce the price of the sold content for gamers and make transactions quicker.

The ALAX app store will be for Android at first, but then hopes to expand into Asia where it has the biggest representation.

Their partnership is creating an idea that is well overdue. With more transparency, through the blockchain, not only could there be a better vetting process for inappropriate games – that threaten to kill kids – smaller platforms that sell apps could also get a fairer slice of the pie and developers, too.


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