A video game popular in China is exploring whether or not facial recognition could be used to determine the age appropriateness of players.

The game Honour of Kings will trial the technology on a limited number of players based in Shenzhen and Beijing, according to the game’s publisher Tencent.

The measure is meant to keep pace with a number of campaigns in China seeking to limit the time children spend playing video games.

Joining initiatives such as age-based time limits and a real-name registry, the facial recognition technology might one day be rolled out to all players after the real-world trial.

It is unclear for now what technology will be used to carry out the facial recognition scans or how those scans will be cross-referenced.

"This test is an extension of Tencent's existing Youth Guardian platform, which allows parents to monitor gameplay time and uses facial recognition, but this goes a step further by comparing user images with government photo records," said Piers Harding-Rolls, from the IHS consultancy.

"It is inevitable that this sort of technology will hold some limitations especially for younger children that go through a lot of facial changes as they grow.

"However, facial recognition technology is improving all the time."

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com