Tencent uses facial recognition to catch late-night underage gamers

Tencent rolled out a new feature called Midnight Patrol that uses facial recognition to catch underage gamers in China.

The Chinese government has issued a curfew that bans kids under 18 from playing online games between 10 PM to 8 AM. Excessive online gaming on mobile phones among children has been blamed for numerous social issues in China, from worsening eyesight to online addiction.

Since the law’s implementation, underage gamers found a way to continue playing mobile games. Some have reportedly changed the games’ safety settings without their parents noticing. While others have been posing as adults to get around the government mandated curfew.

With the facial ID, a verification check will prevent unauthorized use or changes to safety settings. It will scan anyone playing online games using an adult ID during curfew hours to ensure compliance. Tencent will also require facial checks when safety settings are modified.

The new feature will initially roll out to around 60 mobile games in China, including popular multiplayer games such as Honor of Kings.

China has one of the largest population of mobile gamers. At the end of 2020, over 682 million of their over 1.4 billion people are playing mobile games.

Source Japan Today; Featured image from Unsplash

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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