A new digital contract from gaming company Tencent will allow parents reward their children's good grades with game time.
Following criticisms that one of Tencent's popular game in China has been making students focus more on gaming than academic and other responsibilities, the gaming company is launching a new contract that will push kids to use their time wisely while also having more time for the game they love.
In 2015, Tencent released in China the multiplayer online battle "Honor of Kings," which is so addictive it recorded at least 200 million players monthly, making it among the most famous video games in the world.
While this is good news for Tencent, it became a problem for parents and teachers, who cannot control the children's addiction to the games. This pushed the company to restrict children less than 12 years of age from playing more than an hour every day.
This, however, did not really stop kids from playing. They tried to get around the age restriction by creating fake online IDs.
A report from Chinese media in August stated that even the country's military personnel have become addicted to the game. "Over-addiction to mobile phone games is gradually harming the physical and psychological health of soldiers and officers," said an article from the "People's Liberation Army Daily." The article also expressed that their addiction could be a threat to China's national security.
As a bid to address this, at least for the case of the children, Tencent is making it easier for them to get additional game time for "Honor of Kings" without having the need to get a fake ID. All the kids need to do is get good grades and do household chores to have their parents reward them for good behavior.
"With the proposed feature, children can exchange their playing time by doing housework or reaching certain [academic] scores," said Tencent chief executive Ma Huateng at a press conference.
The company also promised that it will make good use of its popularity by creating educational titles that make subjects like Math and Science enjoyable for kids.
"Honor of Kings" was rolled out in the U.S. in December as "Arena of Valor" and is available on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.