For now, kids can still visit strip clubs through Meta’s VR goggles, but this month the company is also introducing parental supervision. He has talked to various organizations and has come to the conclusion that the virtual world, especially given the metaverse plans it has, needs parental supervision. Therefore, it has decided to introduce new tools.
Oculus, Meta’s VR headset company, already has a rule that you must be at least 13 years old to use the headset. Oculus writes: “As a first step in giving people more personalized control over their VR experience, we’re expanding the functionality of our existing unlock pattern on the Quest headset.”
“You could already create an unlock pattern as an extra layer of security, but starting in April we will introduce the ability to use the unlock pattern with specific apps. This will allow parents to prevent teens over the age of 13 from accessing games and experiences. that they think are inappropriate for their age.”
So the intention is that as a parent you consider which apps are potentially harmful and set a ‘block’. By extension, beginning in May, teens over the age of 13 will no longer be able to download apps deemed inappropriate for their age. Parents can override these locks per app. Third, Parental Controls is also a panel that you can access through the Oculus mobile app.
This allows you to link teens’ accounts so you can give them access to certain apps if they are deemed inappropriate for their age. You can also see how much time your child spends in the virtual world, what they buy, who their Oculus friends are, and what apps your child has installed on the VR headset.
One app that sounds alarm bells for many parents is VRChat, for example. It is a chat room where, among other things, sexual content is shared, where there is a lot of bullying (as in the rest of the internet) and where many extremists also discuss. In short, VRChat works like your average chat and isn’t necessarily something you want to expose young people to.
Of course, that’s not what VRChat wants to be known for, as it has in its rules that you’re not allowed to harass others, share nude photos or porn, or use hate speech. But of course it’s hard to moderate yourself very well in those places. Because of this, as a parent, you’re probably better off disabling VRChat. VRChat is also a place where people can create classrooms and you can end up in a strip club and see content that is worse than what you see in your average strip club.
Shoot in the strip club
While Meta is very late, it’s nice that she comes up with at least something to better protect children in the world of virtual reality. Not surprisingly, for example, the latter has also expanded the ‘personal bubble’ around people in its Horizon Worlds test metaverse, to help prevent online transgressive behavior and sexual assault.
The magic of VR is that you’re right in the middle of it, which is great in games and other worlds, but unfortunately it also makes annoying behavior from other players or users feel a lot more personal. Because it’s less easy for parents to see when a child wears VR goggles (although it’s possible to stream the images on TV), it’s even more difficult to control what’s shown. In addition, it goes beyond seeing: it is experiencing.
There are many more options for safer children and adolescents in virtual reality, but here Meta is taking the first steps. Therefore, it is recommended that parents do a good research on what exactly an app entails and what can happen in it. After all, VRChat sounds harmless enough, but it can also quickly get out of control.
The tools will roll out to all Quest headsets in the coming months.
When you’re not tapping, you’re floating somewhere in the wonderful world of entertainment or on a plane to some great place in the real world. Mario…