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"If you don’t do real-name verification for your new accounts, the system has no way to know how old you are, so there won’t be any limits."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 18, 2017

2 Min Read

Teens buying fake IDs is nothing new. Generations past and present have always used dodgy driver's licenses and other flimsy forgeries to try and sneak into movie theaters or test their luck at the local boozer. At least, that used to be the case. 

In China, a new generation of youngsters are nabbing fake IDs for different reason. They want to play a mobile game. Or more specially, they want to play Tencent's smash hit, Honour of Kings

As reported by the New York Times, the popular MOBA has attracted over 200 million players on home soil. But it's also managed to become an enemy of the state, with parents and teachers expressing concern at the amount of time the next generation are sinking into the social title. 

To allay those fears, Tencent implemented time restrictions limiting players below the age of 12 to one hour of play a day. Those aged between 12 and 18 are currently limited to two hours a day. Problem solved? Well not quite. 

As is always the case, with rules come rule breakers. And China's troublesome teens haven't exactly welcomed in the new regime with open arms. Many have already found workarounds, with some bypassing Tencent's own systems while others buy adult IDs or establish their own fake online personas. 

"If you don’t do real-name verification for your new accounts, the system has no way to know how old you are, so there won’t be any limits," said Ms. Min, a 17-year-old Honour of Kings player. "I have two accounts, and most of my friends also do this to bypass the restrictions."

Tencent has already cottoned onto some of the tactics being used by its teenage fanatics, but right now it looks like there's a battle brewing between those making the rules and those being forced to follow them. 

The full article delves more into the game's growing popularity and the repercussions being felt over in the East. It's an interesting read, so be sure to check it out over on The New York Times.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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