Virtual reality

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Meta Lowers Age Restriction for Quest VR Headsets

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In a surprising move, Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced a significant change to the age requirements for its popular Quest virtual reality (VR) headsets. The company is lowering the minimum age restriction from 13 years old to 10 years old, allowing a broader range of preteens to experience the immersive world of VR.

This decision comes as no surprise to those familiar with social VR apps like Rec Room and VRChat, where young children are already actively using VR headsets. Meta’s new initiative aims to provide enhanced safety measures for younger users through the introduction of parent-managed accounts. These accounts will be available for both the existing Quest 2 and the upcoming Quest 3 models.

Expected to launch later this year, the parent-managed Meta accounts will require preteens to obtain their parents’ approval to set up an account. This feature empowers adults to exercise control over the apps their children can download from the Meta app store. Furthermore, these accounts will offer a range of parental controls, including screen time limits, privacy and safety settings, and the ability to manage access to different types of content.

One notable aspect of this policy change is that preteens using Meta’s VR headsets will not be exposed to advertisements. Additionally, parents will have the option to determine whether their child’s usage data is shared with Meta, ensuring a higher level of privacy protection. The company also assures parents that they will have the ability to delete profiles, along with all associated data.

It is important to note, however, that Meta’s social VR app, Meta Horizon Worlds, will maintain its 13+ age requirement in the United States and Canada, with an even higher requirement of 18+ in Europe.

This recent announcement represents a significant shift in Meta’s stance on VR usage among younger audiences. Previously, Meta emphasized the potential risks and adverse effects that younger children could face while using VR headsets, highlighting the importance of caution. However, with the introduction of parent-managed accounts and robust safety measures, Meta aims to address these concerns and provide a safer VR experience for preteens.

As the launch of the new parent-managed Meta accounts draws near, parents and young VR enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting era of expanded access, enhanced safety, and controlled exploration within the immersive realm of virtual reality.

In conclusion, Meta’s decision to lower the minimum age restriction for Quest VR headsets and introduce parent-managed accounts demonstrates the company’s commitment to ensuring a safer and more inclusive VR experience for younger users. With these enhanced safety measures, Meta aims to strike a balance between providing access to cutting-edge technology and addressing the concerns associated with VR usage among preteens.