Meta’s recent announcement regarding the introduction of parent-managed Meta accounts for families and the adjustment of the recommended age for VR users has significant implications for the presence of pre-teens in the metaverse. These developments signal a potential surge in the number of children exploring virtual realms.
With the new features in place, parents and guardians now have enhanced control over their children’s VR experiences on Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest 3 headsets. The ability to manage family accounts from a single device empowers account managers to govern which apps can be downloaded from the Meta Quest Store. In addition, pre-teen users will receive recommendations exclusively for age-appropriate games and applications. The newfound ability for parents to block specific content and schedule breaks from VR usage grants them greater authority over their child’s time spent in virtual reality.
To further prioritize safety and privacy, pre-teen accounts will be initially set to private, requiring parental approval for followers. Meta assures that no advertisements will be targeted toward this age group, prioritizing a secure and age-appropriate environment.
Meta underscores the presence of an extensive array of captivating and educational apps and games on their platform. Many of these offerings have been assessed and rated for ages 10 and above by recognized rating organizations such as the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC). Meta envisions families embarking on interactive journeys together, from immersing themselves in historical events to virtually exploring far-flung destinations.
It is worth noting that while the recommended age for VR usage has been lowered to 10, Meta’s own social VR metaverse, Horizon Worlds, maintains age restrictions of 13+ in the US and Canada, and 18+ in Europe.