Tencent will Limit Time Spent by Children in their Games

Tencent is tightening checks on the age of people playing online games, as China tries to tackle gaming addiction.


Tencent, the owner of the Fortnite developer and a series of successful mobile games, will begin to verify the identity of its players in order to limit the time spent by children and teenagers in their titles. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company will use a police database to confirm the age of its players, and at least for now, the measure will only apply in China.

The maximum daily allowable time for players of 10 mobile company titles will be set at one hour for children up to 12 years of age and two hours for teens from 13 to 18 years. For those under 12 years of age, the idea is to set these playing times between 8 am, and 9 am.

The verification project has been in effect since September in the Honor of Kings game and will reach another nine titles by the end of 2018. For the coming year, however, the idea is for the measure to be expanded to all games for smartphones and tablets developed by Tencent.


Addiction and Privacy

The situation in China is quite critical of gambling addiction. According to the WSJ, Honor of Kings is quite popular among students, and many of them fail to do their homework to spend time with gambling late into the night.

“A little protection is an important task to which the whole society is attentive,” says the company. “[Tencent] has a high degree of responsibility and obligation [about it],” it concludes.

This verification program raises some obvious privacy issues, especially for involving minors, but apparently, there is not much that players can do as the measure is supported by the Chinese government to address the widespread addiction of young people to mobile gaming.

The company is also working to implement facial recognition checks to nine other mobile titles this year and expanded to cover all of Tencent’s video games next year. The check is already in use in Tencent’s most popular mobile game, “Honor of Kings.” The move marks Tencent’s latest attempt to meet the Chinese government’s call for stricter controls to combat video game addiction and increased myopia among young people.

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