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Tencent Plans To Use Facial-Recognition Software To Stop Minors From Gaming Late At Night

Gaming giant Tencent recently announced it will begin using facial recognition software to prevent Chinese minors from playing video games too late at night. This comes as part of an effort to put a stop to “excessive and unhealthy gaming habits” in the country.

“We will conduct a face screening for accounts registered with real names and that have played for a certain period of time at night,” the company wrote in a machine-translated press release. “Anyone who refuses or fails the face verification will be treated as a minor, and as outlined in the anti-addiction supervision of Tencent’s game health system, and kicked offline.”

Tencent reportedly refers to the system as Midnight Patrol. The company says the technology scans the faces of players and compares the result to a logged database of users. If a user is identified as a minor, that person will be locked out of their games whenever they have played for “the maximum amount of time” or “during prohibited hours.”

In 2019, a law was passed in China to prevent minors from over-indulging in video games. As a result, minors are banned from playing video games between 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM. They also have a limit of 90 minutes of video game play a day.

The Profit‘s Take:

This is scary. Either this becomes the new norm in China or it doesn’t work at all because these restrictions and rules are too hard to enforce. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

(All information was provided by Gizmodo and The Verge)

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