Beijing, Jun 29 (EFE) – Leading Chinese online gaming companies Tencent, NetEase and MihaYou announced Thursday the launch of a limited gaming schedule for minors during the summer vacations, supported by artificial intelligence technology.
The initiative seeks to regulate minors’ gaming time and promote a “healthy and balanced” environment for their development, within the framework of measures to prevent addiction to this type of recreation.
The regulations, issued in 2021 by the National Press and Publication Administration – the regulatory body for print and digital publications – establish a daily limit of 1 hour of gaming for minors during the summer vacations, which run from July to August.
On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, this time restriction will be applied to ensure a balance between gaming time and other activities.
To enforce these measures, companies have implemented various technologies and monitoring strategies.
NetEase has developed “AI patrols” that will identify the gaming behavior of minors during the summer vacations.
These patrols will use facial recognition to identify suspicious underage gamblers and make appropriate interventions.
Tencent has also applied AI technology, using facial recognition to verify the age of users.
According to recent statistics provided by the Chinese research institute Gamma Data, there has been a significant decrease in underage gaming hours compared to previous years. Authorities have interpreted this as a sign of these measures’ effectiveness.
However, despite progress, there are still challenges in the implementation of the regulations.
Some minors may attempt to circumvent the restrictions by using false identities, and the lack of family supervision may affect the effectiveness of the measures.
Trading of gaming accounts and the sale of pirated versions of games also pose obstacles to the protection of minors.
The announcement immediately sparked various reactions on social networks in the country.
“It’s okay, my grandmother is already a Zhen Ji (a character from the popular game ‘Glory of the King’) with level 32,” read the most rated comment on the microblogging site Weibo, demonstrating one of the different ways to dealing with the restrictions. EFE