Chinese gaming giant, Tencent, has now taken precautionary measures to prevent underage youths from bypassing government gaming laws in China. The company has introduced a time-sensitive facial recognition system to prevent underage gamers from posing as adults. Internet addiction among kids is a real problem in China and these measures taken by Tencent are to help curb excessive gaming.
Back in 2019, a gaming law was introduced in China that banned kids below the age of 18 from playing online games between 10 PM to 8 AM. Apart from this, the underage gamers are allowed a playtime of only 90 minutes daily and on national holidays that time is increased to three hours. Minors are also required to use their real names and identification numbers when logging in to play. All these measures are put in place to prevent internet addiction.
However, the ban only led to kids using the identities or devices of their parents as a means of evading the restrictions. Hence, Tencent decided to employ facial recognition technology to identify underage gamers. The gaming giant named the curfew as Midnight Patrol which will run between 10 PM and 8 AM to keep an eye on the gamers who log in using an adult ID.
Those who are recognized as minors during this time or who refuse the facial screening will be ‘kicked offline’ and ‘treated as a minor,’ according to a report by Sixth Tone, a Chinese online publication.
While this curfew and screening may leave many underage gamers unhappy, the company seems to be putting their foot down. Tencent owns many of the popular gaming titles in China like Honour of Kings, Game For Peace, etc.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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