Virtual Reality devices are some of the hottest gifts in this season of giving, several major manufacturers are providing age warnings for their products. The Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR headset have a 13+ age rating. Sony’s PlayStation VR is suggested for children age 12 and up.
It should be noted that studies have not shown adverse effects which are specific to children. However, it may be wise to exercise caution just as one would for extended use of video games and tablets.
These warnings do not just apply to home usage either. As VR continues to grow as an embraceable technology, schools are looking at ways to incorporate these products into their lesson plans. Taking into account the manufacturers’ age warnings, the advised minimum age then for VR usage begins roughly in 5th or 6th grade. This is not to suggest that classrooms in lower grade-levels should not use this groundbreaking and useful technology, only that further caution should be exercised when it comes to the duration of time that students use these devices.
While there is little doubt that VR has the capability of transforming the way schools teach and students learn, these age warnings support what we at VictoryVR already believe – VR’s best use in schools is as a curriculum supplement rather than as a replacement. The benefits of VR seem unlimited but there is no replacing or replicating the student-teacher interaction that exists within our schools.
If you would like to learn more, check out this article from Digital Trends: Is VR Safe for Kids?