Riot Games under Scrutiny

Riot Games is the well-known developer of massively popular massive multiplayer online role-playing game (commonly known as a MMORPG) League of Legends. League of Legends is enjoyed competitively and casually by many players across the globe. What many people do not know, however, is that Riot Games is owned by Chinese tech giant, Tencent. Tencent has stakes in many other American gaming companies, including Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite.

While Tencent has been involved and relatively hands-off with Riot Games since 2011, the company has, as of recently, been facing pressure from the Chinese government to take measures to curtail the hours teenagers spend playing video games, as they are concerned that many youths are currently facing video game addiction.

Not wanting to lose the massive Chinese market, Riot GamesCulture fielded the request last October and is currently facing heavy criticism for that decision. The new updates allow the government to track how many hours players spending on League of Legends per day and expel minors who are exceeding the two hour limit.

Despite the fact that it’s Chinese policy driving the creation of such updates, many data privacy advocates are postulating that the American creation of such technology cannot bode well in the future. One reason is because it raises the question of whether or not we should be willing to participate in something that so many see as unconstitutional and unethical. Another reason is that many believe that such technology could have unforeseen and potentially devastating uses with regards to surveillance and the violation of privacy.

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