If the PlayStation VR was a movie, it'd be rated PG-13. According to VRFocus, Sony's PS4-dependent VR headset will have an age limit of 13 years and older, leaving tweens on the sidelines of the VR fun.
Notes on the potential age barrier come by way of a beta software update for the PlayStation 4. The update notes state, "The VR headset is not to be used by children under 12 years of age. Check what is around and remove barriers before use. Take measures to prevent pets, children or other obstacles from getting into the area before use." This is in addition to the usual warnings of motion sickness, nausea and disorientation that typically accompany VR devices.
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This restriction isn't anything new, as both the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift have instituted similar policies on their systems. However, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has said that the company being acquired by Facebook had a big influence on the 13-year age requirement.
“We put a warning on right when you put it on and the age of 13 was something that made a lot of sense when we became a part of Facebook, their age is 13 as well," Iribe said at last year's Code Conference. "And so we just felt let’s start at 13, let’s evolve the technology more, let’s build more confidence, in the health and safety side of it. And eventually, one day, we definitely want to have Oculus for kids, especially for all the educational use of this.”
While its a bummer that youngsters are advised against experiencing PS VR, we're in the "better safe than sorry" camp on this one. As cool as virtual reality is, there hasn't been any real testing to determine the dangers of VR on kids. If adults are being advised against using head-mounted displays for long periods of time, it can't be all that great for small children -- particularly kids whose brains and bodies are still developing.
via VR Focus