Tencent Deploys Facial Recognition for Their Mobile Game Titles to Prevent Minors Gaming at Night
Chinese multinational technology conglomerate, Tencent, reportedly announced a facial recognition system that can prevent minors from playing excessively. The name of the initiative is called “Midnight Patrol” and is currently deployed in China. According to a report from , the facial verification system will help monitor players, specifically minors who spend too much time playing video games between 10 PM and 8 AM. Tencent has deployed the facial recognition system across 60 popular games, including Honor of Kings (Chinese server for Arena of Valor) and Game for Peace (Chinese Server for PUBG Mobile). More details regarding Tencent’s facial recognition feature, Midnight Patrol, can be found below.
Tencent Deploys “Midnight Patrol”, A Facial Recognition System in China
One of the biggest video game companies in China, they call “Midnight Patrol” that can keep track of minors who spend too much time playing video games between 10 PM and 8 AM.
According to Tencent, all gaming accounts that have been playing during the aforementioned time period and whose accounts are registered as adults will be subject to a facial recognition test. Anyone who refuses or fails the face verification will be treated as a minor and will be kicked out of the game, in accordance with the anti-addiction supervision of Tencent’s game health system. Players who failed the verification will be locked from the game until 8 AM.
In 2019, the Chinese government passed “anti-addiction” regulations for minors, to prevent gaming addiction by restricting playtime, imposing curfews, and limiting in-game purchases. The regulation’s curfew prevents minors from playing video games between 10 PM until 8 AM and limiting them to 1.5 hours of playtime on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays.
China’s video game companies have been actively imposing their own features to prevent gaming addiction, especially on minors. Tencent has introduced mandatory real-name registration for their video game titles in China and launched a guardianship feature that allows parents to supervise and limit their children’s playtime.
Tencent also addressed the concerns regarding minors using their parent’s phones to bypass the guardianship feature. The company responded to this concern by releasing a lock feature that can be toggled by adults and will require a facial verification from the adults themselves before they can access or modify the face verification system.
China has always been at the forefront of preventing minors from spending too much time playing video games. It will be interesting to see if this new facial recognition feature will help it