Gaming addiction among minors is a problem that Chinese authorities are exceedingly eager to curb. The effort has become so intensive that the country’s biggest gaming company, Tencent Games, is now using facial recognition technology within its gaming platform to reduce excessive play time among children and teenagers. Launched yesterday, Tencent’s facial verification system works by leveraging China’s central public security system and monitoring users who spend a significant amount of time online at night. Those who fail the check by playing extensively or past certain hours are kicked offline. Tencent’s facial verification technology is reportedly smart enough to get around the tricks that minors have been using to pose as adults in order to play past their bedtime.
Tencent will initially launch the facial screening feature for over 60 popular games, including Honor of Kings and Game for Peace, and plans to incorporate more titles in the future, according to the company. Tencent began testing the use of facial recognition to check users’ age in Beijing and Shenzhen as of late 2018.