Tencent tightens game curbs for minors in China

Agence France-Presse
Tencent imposes a digital lock on some games, requiring players under 13 years to ask their guardians to open them

SHANGHAI, China – Chinese gaming giant Tencent on Friday, March 1, announced new curbs on underage video-game playing as part of a government crackdown on youth gaming addiction that has cast a cloud over the company’s biggest revenue source.

Tencent said it had imposed a digital lock on some games that requires players under 13 years to ask their guardians to open them.

The new restriction will be piloted for the Chinese versions of two hit games: Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile.

The government last year announced new controls on the number of games that can be played online, limited new releases, and imposed rules on underage players to reduce their screen time.

The government justified the new curbs as a way to counter worsening near-sightedness among minors, shortly after President Xi Jinping called for greater national attention on optical health.

Tencent has already launched a real-name identification system for Honor of Kings to enforce playtime restrictions on youths.

China is the world’s biggest video game market and Tencent the planet’s biggest game company. – Rappler.com