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Persona wins major gaming client as age verification grows up

Persona wins major gaming client as age verification grows up

For anyone who has watched a young child play the chunky, multi-person role-playing online game Roblox, news that there is an adult version of the game might be unsettling. Roblox experiences created by and for adults will be restricted to those considered old enough, however, through biometric age verification supplied by Persona.

What will adults do with the digital people in the new, gated area? Not everyone will find out because the company has rolled out a new age-verification bench to restrict it to only creators and players who are 17 years and older.

Manuel Bronstein, Roblox’ chief product officer, wrote about the move on the company’s corporate site. Last year, almost 40 percent of the game’s daily active players were 17 or older. In fact, the fastest growing demographic bracket is players aged 17 to 24.

Authentication software maker Persona is Roblox’s age verification vendor.

Persona’s age verification software provides higher assurance than just box-ticking, which is not an uncommon fig leaf in the industry. A registrant takes a photo of an accepted government-issued photo ID, shoots a selfie and AI algorithms do the rest. A blog post from Persona contrasts this approach with common age gating methods like clicking “yes” to claim age eligibility.

In his note, Bronstein says new verification methods could be added to ensure only age-appropriate players get to a level.

There already are benches for all ages, nine years and older and 13 and older. Each has guidelines for content and play that is age appropriate.

The new bench allows for higher levels of violence and lower levels of humor, among other factors.

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