Just like the internet, VR is another incredible technology taking over the globe. This promising tech is well known in the gaming industry, and now the use case has been extended into social media as we now have VRChat- a gaming app with messaging feature.
While VRChat is a great app, it does have its dark sides. We will look into these dark sides and how you (parents) can curb them. Without wasting your time, let's dive in.
Part 1: What is VRChat Games?
VRChat Games is a multipurpose application designed for fun and entertainment amongst individuals. You might be wondering why it's called a multipurpose app. Well, the fun and entertainment bring the gaming vibe. In addition, players can still use it to interact with one another as it supports messaging. This type of gaming tool is quite different from the usual gaming apps you know.
In VRChat Games, players create the story behind the game. Thus, they are responsible for developing the in-game characters. In addition, the in-game characters are used to interact with other players.
What Devices Supports VRChat Games?
VRChat Games is supported on the following virtual reality hardware:
- Oculus Rift
- HTC Vive
- Microsoft's Mixed Reality Gear
- Oculus Rift S
- Oculus Quest
- Oculus Quest 2
- Oculus Quest Link
- Valve Index
Is the VRChat Game Free to Play?
Yes, the VRChat Game is free to play. But there are certain expenses you need to consider such as the cost of virtual reality hardware. Also, you could consider the cost of creating an in-game character should you need the help of a professional artist.
Who Are the Main Users of VRChat Games?
No doubt the VRChat Games are very popular as both adults and teenagers want to have a glimpse of what the virtual world is about. However, the majority of the users/players are teenagers.
What is the Age Recommendation of the VRChat Game?
To play VRChat Games, you must be at least 13 years of age.
Is VRChat Safe for Kids?
Although VRChat brings out the creativity in kids, we cannot neglect the negative effect it has on their lives. Reason being that there are several explicit contents available on VRChat that your kids may be exposed to. Thus, we say that VRChat isn't safe for kids.
Part 2: Hands-on Experience on VRChat Games?
Having played the VRChat Games, here are some hands-on experiences we gathered from using the gaming platform:
Create or Join World
With VRChat Games, users or players can create their virtual gaming worlds. To do that, simply click on the World's tab and you will be directed to a page with several built-in worlds. Kindly select one from the list. Next, a new interface with several editing options will pop up on your screen. These options include;
While creating your world, you can choose to invite friends to join you in your virtual world. The technique involved is simple. When you choose to create a new instance world, a new interface with the following options; [public], [friends+], [friends], [invite], or [invite-only] will come up on your screen. Kindly select one.
The VRChat Game has features similar to social media platforms, as users can use it to connect and interact with their friends online. You can also connect with new friends on the platform easily and quickly.
To do that, select the Social option at the top menu bar on the VRChat Game interface. A new page showing your online friends, people in your world, and the list of friend requests you've got. Should you find your friend under the friend request section, click on it to add your friend.
Besides the above, you can also add friends by searching the friend's name on VRChat Games. All you need to do is to type your friend's VRChat name in the [Search] field located at the top right corner of your screen.
Part 3: How Should Teens Protect Themselves in VRChat?
As teens get fun and entertainment from the VRChat Games, they do not have the power to control themselves from using it. If you are a parent worrying about your kids, there are certain techniques you could apply:
Enlightenment of Teens About the Dangers of VRChat Games
Most teenagers have little or no knowledge of the harms that VRChat Games could expose them to. Should parents and schools start enlightening them about the dangers of using gaming technology, VRChat, the harms/dangers involved could be put to a halt.
Parents' supervision is another great way teenagers can be protected from the harms and dangers of VRChat Games.
Lance G. Powell in a recent interview listed out some points to help parents supervise teenagers when using VRChat Games. He said parents should:
1. Mandate teenagers not to engage in a conversation or give audience to strangers
2. Instruct teens never to go into other players' territory in the virtual gaming world
3. Record scenes when teenagers engage in VRChat Games
4. Set teenager's VRChat profile to Do Not Disturb so no one can access them
Use of Parental Control Software
With parental control software, teens can be protected from the dangers of VRChat Games. This is because parental control software gives parents control over one of the VR hardware, PC or desktop.
There are several parental control guides available on the net right now. Selecting the best can be challenging but we've got one here that has been tested by experts to provide top-quality services- Wondershare FamiSafe. This software is well-structured, lightweight, and easy to operate. It works perfectly on multiple operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Stepwise Guide to Protect Teens from VRChat Using Wondershare FamiSafe
The set of instructions you need to follow to use the Wondershare FamiSafe software is given below:
Via your (parent) internet-enabled device, navigate your way to the official website for Wondershare FamiSafe. On the page, browse a compatible version of the software, download and then install it.
Launch the software, and choose an identity, whether Parent or Kid . Mind you since it's your device, kindly tap on Parent.
Next, a login page will pop up on your screen. Should you have a FamiSafe profile, enter your details correctly in the appropriate field, then click on Login . If you do not have a FamiSafe account, click on the Sign-Up button to create one.
On completing the above step, select + Connect A New Device and a 6-digit code will immediately pop up on your screen.
Now, go on your kid's device and launch Famisafe-Limit Screen Time to download the this software.
Launch the software, and then select Pair with Code . Type the 6-digit code you generated on your device to tie your kid's device to yours.
Next, grant accessibility to FamiSafe so it can fetch you data from your kid's device. To do that, via your kid's device, tap on the [Enable Now] tab.
Relaunch the Wondershare FamiSafe software on your device, select the Features tab and you will be automatically directed to a new page.
On this page, locate the Screen Time feature, tap on it, and then use the + and - to lengthen or shorten screen time usage.
That's it ! Your kids'screen time will be limited, and you will know how long your kids have been in the VRChat game through the screen time report. In this way, you can monitor your children's screen time more easily and better protect your from VRChat.
Click this video to learn about online safety tips for kids and teens to protect themselves from accessing unnecessary websites.
Part 4: Frequently Asked Question
For extended knowledge, here are some frequently asked questions and answers related to the topic:
1. Is VRChat Supported on PC Only?
No, VRChat isn't PC compatible only. You can also access the gaming app via; Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2.
2. Do I Need VR for VRChat?
No, you do not. You can make use of your keyboards, and mouse when you switch to PC mode.
3. What's the Cost of a VR Headset?
Depending on the product type, the cost of a VR Headset varies between $75-$125.
Should you get a VRChat game for your kid or not? The answer to this question all depends on whether you are ready to protect them from the explicit or unmoderated content they will find on the VRChat app.
We've introduced a parental control app that you can use to accomplish this. Employ the services of the software following the stepwise guide given.