Playstation VR is not for kids under 12. Why?
Let’s find out.
Why Is Playstation VR Not for under 12?
Children’s vision continues to develop until they reach puberty. There isn’t any evidence of harm from using these devices, so we don’t blame HMO manufacturers for being cautious.
Oculus, HTC, Sony are the three companies leading the market for virtual reality (VR). VR is a relatively new technology but one which has been growing rapidly in popularity.
All VR devices come with the following warning: “Children aged 12 or younger shouldn’t play with this VR device.”
For example, according to PlayStation VR (PSVR) instruction manual, PlayStation VR is not for use by children under the age of 12.
Why is VR not for children under 12 or 13 years old?
Manufacturers don’t know if the side effect of VR on children’s eyesight is known yet, so they’re not willing to risk lawsuits by selling them.
Furthermore, we know that VR has side-effect risks for children that are greater than for adults. These include headaches, nausea, and eyestrain.
Virtual Reality Sickness
A VR device may result in the following kinds of sicknesses:
- eye muscle cramps
- eye strain
- altered vision
- loss of awareness
- motion sickness
They’re called VR-Induced Sicknesses.
Children may experience more eye strain and headaches when using VR than they would otherwise.
However, some parents claim that their kids can use VR without any noticeable negative effects. We don’t know if that’s true in the long run.
Physical and Mental Harm
Children don’t always follow adult rules when they’re playing. They might get tangled up with VR cables and fall down. It could cause them to trip and hurt themselves.
With some VR headsets, such as PSVR (PlayStation VR), you cannot look at anything else besides the game world. It doesn’t detect obstacles either.
Adults often stumble when they wear a VR headset. They may even be scared by some VR experiences.
If not supervised properly, VR could be dangerous for kids. Some kids may experience long-term psychological damage from using VR.
You may notice that your eyes hurt when using your smartphone at night, for example, in your bedroom before going to bed.
While adult users may experience discomfort after prolonged exposure to virtual reality headsets, children’s eyes are particularly vulnerable to the effects of these technologies.
In addition, children’s brains are still developing, meaning they’re more susceptible to the negative impacts of technology.
Children who wear VR headsets for long periods of time may experience eyestrain.
They may not complain right away that their eyes hurt from using VR headsets, but they might get used to wearing them after some time. Repeating use could cause complications though.
Not Made for Children
Both Sony and Oculus claim that their VR headsets aren’t appropriate for children because they’re too big for them.
An adult’s average interpupillary distance is 63 millimeters, whereas a child’s average interpupildary distance is 40 millimeters.
Poorly focused and ill-fitting VR devices cause eyestrain. A VR device intended for adults will cause nausea in young people because of this IPD mismatch. This is why VR companies warn against using VR devices by 13-year-old or younger kids.
Additionally, they also state that children under 13 should not be allowed to wear this headset unless an adult is supervising them.
There are no studies showing whether using VR for extended periods of time has any negative effect on vision. However, there are some risks associated with the prolonged use of VR headsets.
Fear of Litigation
There hasn’t been any extensive study into the long-term effects of using virtual reality headsets on children. However, most of the major companies making these products claim they’re safe for use by kids.
If future research shows that VR devices affect children’s eyesight, a class action lawsuit won’t be surprising.
These businesses want to ensure that they aren’t held liable if they sell their products to underage people.
What Parents Say
There are numerous cases when kids under 12 years old use VR devices. According to these kids’ mothers, they let them play VR games for five to ten minutes at a time, and it doesn’t cause any harm.
What Does the Expert Say?
A study published by the American Academy of ophthalmology suggests that five minutes of daily reading may help prevent vision loss.
Researchers at Stanford University conducted some studies in 2009 and 2017. They found out that kids tend to get confused between virtual reality experiences and real-world experiences.
These Stanford scientists aren’t concerned with what ophthalmologists say, but they’re worried about the potential negative impact of VR on children’s mental health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a 9 year old use VR?
Both the Oculus Rift and Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headsets are recommended for ages 13+. However, the PlayStation VR is recommended for ages 12 and up, but not necessarily 13+.
Does VR damage eyes?
VR is not bad for your eyes. However, if you’re using VR often, you should take care of your eyes by making sure they get enough rest. As with any technology, just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s safe.
We don’t know if using VR has any negative side effects on children. So, every now and then, we let them play with VR for just five to ten minutes while watching their activity closely.
If you’re concerned, it’s best not to let them use a VR headset. You’d rather be safe than sorry.
If you have any questions feel free to comment below.