Meta VR Headsets: Allowing 10-Year-Olds with Parental Approval, But Are There Risks?

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that it will soon allow children as young as 10 to use its Meta Quest 2 and 3 virtual reality (VR) headsets, with parental consent

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has announced that it will soon allow children as young as 10 to use its Meta Quest 2 and 3 virtual reality (VR) headsets, with parental consent. In a blog post, the tech giant emphasizes the availability of engaging and educational content for kids, although the impact on their health is still a subject of debate. This decision coincides with the popularity of games like Roblox.

To ensure child safety, Meta will introduce parent-managed Meta accounts, requiring parental approval for usage. Parents will have control over the applications their preteens can access and can set time limits. More information about these features will be provided in the “family center” section of user accounts.

Regarding data collection, Meta states that information collected from 10- to 12-year-olds using their Meta Quest products will be utilized to deliver age-appropriate experiences. Ads will not be served to this age group, and parents can decide whether their child’s data is used to enhance the experience. Additionally, parents will have the option to delete their child’s account, including all associated data.

It is essential for parents to assess whether VR is suitable for their child, as there is limited independent research on the effects of modern headsets on children. Meta acknowledges potential hazards in a document, including the weight of the helmets for young children, eye strain, and nausea. However, the company maintains that no evidence suggests harm. Nonetheless, Meta’s reputation concerning the negative impact of its products on users raises concerns about their trustworthiness.

: Meta
Source: Meta

One notable concern is the potential for VR to blur a child’s perception of reality, although this is a natural aspect of early childhood. However, the immersive and realistic nature of today’s VR experiences was not available just a few years ago.

If parents choose to allow their children to explore VR, it can be an exciting and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. However, negative effects can occur even in adults with immediate exposure, let alone prolonged use. It is crucial to have open conversations with children about the risks and to monitor their usage. When a company like Meta warns about potential dangers, it is wise to pay attention.

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