Tencent, the Chinese gaming conglomerate, has developed a contentious tool to limit minors gaming activity in Mainland China at night. The new method uses face recognition technology to detect and confirm whether a person is a minor, preventing them from playing games during restricted hours.
The technology is allegedly dubbed “nighttime patrol” by the business. Its goal in China is to fight gaming addiction among those under the age of 18. Every gamer is effectively required to cooperate with facial recognition technology. To detect minors, Tencent’s technology will evaluate people’s faces and match them with photos and names recorded in a database.
For those who are unaware, the Chinese government established “anti-addiction” rules in 2019, prohibiting children from playing excessive video games late at night. For anybody under the age of 18, the regulation limited gameplay, enforced curfews, and capped in-game purchases. Furthermore, the legislation prohibited under-18 gamers from playing games between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., restricting them to 1.5 hours on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends and holidays.
Following this, Tencent claims that many gamers have exploited the system by employing “wrong methods” and playing during banned hours nevertheless. As a result, Tencent’s midnight patrol system tries to ensure that minors do not have access to games late at night.
“Anyone who rejects or fails the face verification will be considered as a minor, as specified in Tencent’s game health system’s anti-addiction monitoring, and will be kicked off,” the firm said in a statement.
“For accounts registered with genuine identities and that have played for a particular amount of time late at night, we will do a face screening. Anyone who rejects or fails the face verification will be treated as a minor and kicked off, as specified in Tencent’s game health system’s anti-addiction supervision,” Tencent added.
The nighttime patrol system is already live in China, and it will be available for over 60 games at first, including popular titles like Honor of Kings, Glory of the King, Peace Elite, and others. More titles will be added to the list in the following days, according to the firm. In addition, Riot Games’ popular League of Legends game, in which Tencent holds a significant investment, is said to be on the list.
As you may guess, this will be a very difficult scenario for Chinese children. On the other hand, given that gaming addiction is a serious problem among the under-age population, Tencent’s decision may be a sensible one. When it comes to face recognition technology, however, there is always a privacy concern, especially when it comes to children. As a result, if Tencent does not act properly in the next weeks, the firm may face significant consequences.
VIA: Dot Esports