Tencent, the company that owns like half of the world’s online titles at this point, is doing the Chinese government a solid by taking up the role of tattle-teller and babysitter for that country’s youth. Indeed, the long-debated facial recognition tech that blocks access to games if it spies kids playing them late at night is finally here.
Tencent rolled out a facial verification system for over 60 of its games this week. This tech links to a Chinese security system to identify minors playing between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. This “Midnight Patrol,” as it’s being called, is supposedly part of the country-wide effort to promote “healthy gaming” and “corporate narcing.”
“We will conduct a face screening for accounts registered with real names and that have played for a certain period of time at night,” Tencent says. “Anyone who refuses or fails the face verification will be treated as a minor, and as outlined in the anti-addiction supervision of Tencent’s game health system, and kicked offline.”
Expect there to be a fierce black market for kids to grab their older siblings, shove their face in front of a camera, and pay them with a Hostess Twinkie. Also expect there to be a special MassivelyOP award this year for Excellence in Creepiness.