Tencent not only controls most of the online gaming market in China, but also has close ties to the country's government. With their approval, testing of a new technology for recognizing the faces of those who play games from Tencent was launched. The main task sounds noble - to identify minors among gamers in order to try to reduce the time children spend playing games.
The company has every opportunity to implement such a program. With over 200 million users in the nation's most popular online game, Honor of Kings, it's a great base for massive experimentation. The technical aspect of the issue also does not look complicated, many of the company's gaming services already use registration by real name and another type of user verification will not scare anyone. Moreover, cameras with face recognition in China today have also become ubiquitous.
The legal and social aspects of the innovation are also unlikely to generate loud criticism. As early as last year, in support of parental control over children's free time, Tencent imposed a limit of 1 hour of play time per day for gamers under 12. Teenagers (13-18 years old) can play on a smartphone for two hours a day. Of course, there are attempts to cheat the system, but since everything is official, Tencent has a free hand in terms of the use of punitive measures.
The details of the upcoming experiment to recognize the faces of gamers have not been disclosed, and the reasons are obvious. This is a powerful tool for controlling users, which will certainly be used by the authorities for a variety of purposes. The future will show whether it is for the good and whose good is it.