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Tencent, a Chinese gaming company, is deploying facial recognition technology to prevent youngsters from playing between the hours of 22:00 and 08:00.

According to the company, Tencent, the “midnight-patrol” technology will prevent “tricks” from avoiding the government curfew, which was implemented in 2019 with a cap on how much young gamers could spend on in-game transactions.

Gamers must register with their official IDs, which are linked to a national database, in order to avoid the restrictions.However, it has been reported that minors have been using adults’ IDs instead of their own.Anyone who has been playing for a specific amount of time will now be subjected to a facial scan to verify their age.

Tencent began testing the system in 2018, and it now covers over 60 titles from the world’s largest gaming publisher. It announced the extension on China’s QQ messaging program, dubbed “zero-hours cruising” by China’s Sixth Tone news site, which translates to “midnight patrol.”

Tencent opting on 'Facial Recognition', bans kids gaming past bedtime

Many of Tencent’s most popular games, such as Honour of Kings and Game for Peace, are designed for mobile devices; mobile gaming in China is significantly more popular than in the West.

Facial recognition on a phone is easier to install than on a computer or video game console. Age checks with cameras are already being proposed as a way to verify users’ age for online adult product transactions.

Gaming addiction was officially recognized by the World Health Organization in 2018.

The NHS then developed treatment plans for what is considered an uncommon condition that affects only a small percentage of dedicated gamers the following year.

However, video games are frequently accused in China of having a harmful impact on young people, including the development of nearsightedness in children. In order to combat “problem” gaming in China, all new titles must be certified by a regulator, which “froze” releases in 2018 and has since appeared to limit the number.

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