Tencent is doing something about the problem of children gaming too much after hours, and they're using tech to do it.
DigitalTrends reports that the Chinese tech giant uses face recognition tech to stop kids from gaming too much at night. Called the "Midnight Patrol," the tech was released to certain games in China as a way of stopping young children from being addicted to video games after hours.
A total of 60 games will get the update, including two Tencent titles in "Peace Elite" and "Glory of the King." The massively popular multiplayer title "League of Legends," which Tencent now owns after acquiring a majority stake in developer Riot Games in 2011, is also slated to get the face recognition update
Aside from young kids, Midnight Patrol is also aimed at teenagers, writes DotEsports. According to Tencent, the tech will help monitor certain individuals who spend a significant amount of time online at night. The official age bracket that the update targets are 18 and under.
Tencent's measure comes two years after the Chinese government passed an "anti-addiction" bill that limits the amount of time that young people spend playing video games. Aside from that, the bill also introduced a curfew, which states that children and teenagers can't play games (and videos) between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Tencent's Midnight Patrol: How Does It Work?
The Midnight Patrol face recognition app works quite simply. Any game with the tech will require a facial scan to play. Should a player try to avoid this scan, they will automatically be assumed a minor, and the game shuts down as a result.
But what about adults who mistakenly get kicked out of the game? According to Tencent themselves, all they need to do is undergo the face recognition scan again, and they'll be let in.
Since the update is now live, any minor who wishes to play a Tencent game after hours will have to look elsewhere to get their fix. They can either try out VPNs to bypass the face recognition scan, which while possible, doesn't guarantee a reliable workaround.
Too Much Screen Time: Not Just an Issue in China
Of course, this issue concerning minors spending too much time gaming late at night isn't concentrated in China. Take American children, for instance. According to MedlinePlus, most of them spend a total of 5 to 7 hours a day staring at screens. It doesn't matter if it's a smartphone, tablet, or TV.
However, take the conversation to video games, and it's a whole new story. ScienceDaily reports that a massive 86 percent of parents believe their children spend too much time playing video games. Furthermore, too much gaming has proven detrimental to the minors' abilities in family functions, doing homework, and extracurricular activities.
Tencent Still Focused on Gaming
But despite wanting to curb minors' gametime, Tencent is still all in with their gaming investments--esports in particular. The Chinese tech conglomerate is doing what it can to expand its current empire, which could result in even more massive growth down the line.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce