Tencent to Use Face Recognition to Prevent Minors From Gaming at Night

China-based game developer Tencent has today announced that it will soon start using facial recognition to prevent minors from playing video games late into the night. According to Gizmodo, Tencent is attempting to keep ahead of the new regulations introduced by the Chinese government.


A recently pass Chinese law includes a ban on minors playing video games from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., as well as limiting their playtime to 90 minutes a day. It also prohibits minors from spending more than $28 to $57 a month on micro-transactions.

Tencent refers to the new system as “Midnight Patrol” and says it scans the faces of players and compares the result against a database of faces and names. Users flagged as minors will then be locked out of games whenever they have played for the maximum amount of time or attempt to play during prohibited hours.

“We will conduct a face screening for accounts registered with real names and that have played for a certain period of time at night,” Tencent Games 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 will initially include some 60 games as part of the program, although the list does not include League of Legends, one of Tencent’s most popular e-sports offerings.

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