Tencent trials facial recognition to combat video game addiction in minors

Tencent is trialing a system using facial recognition technology to identify underage gamers in order to limit their gaming and combat a growing gaming addiction problem in China, according to Gizmochina.

With 50 million daily players for its most popular game, King of Glory, Tencent Holdings is the top-grossing video game publisher in the world, Gizmochina reports. Its success is also tied to a national epidemic of video game addiction, however, with 24 million teenagers estimated to be affected. China’s government has even blamed video games for the commonality of vision problems across the country.

In response, Tencent implemented a policy last year to restrict gamers under 13 years old limited to 1 hour of gaming each day, all before 9 pm, and older minors limited to 2 hours. In order to block workarounds, Tencent is testing facial recognition with it new “Honour of Kings” title, and has selected roughly 1,000 users to verify their identity with facial scans, the company said in a statement.

The facial recognition system then checks the gamer’s identity against a public security database.

Tencent has developed its own facial recognition technology, which has achieved impressive accuracy results in testing with the MegaFace framework, though it is not clear if the development of gamer recognition system is completely internal.

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