What Are Kids Doing in the Metaverse?
New report shares the details families, companies, and lawmakers need to keep kids safe.
The metaverse is a hot topic right now. Newspapers are writing about it, tech corporations are investing in it, and children are in it (or will be soon). According to our new report, The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2021, 17% of children age 8 to 18 report having a VR headset, and about one in five tweens (22%) and one in four teens (27%) have ever tried virtual reality. At the same time, virtual reality (VR) technologies, from headsets for the face to haptic suits for the body, are developing quickly, allowing users to experience the metaverse in ways that are physically and psychologically new.
There are many potential benefits for kids and teens from these systems, ranging from creative play to immersive learning. But the harms are not yet fully understood. How can the metaverse and VR threaten the physical well-being of children? What are the privacy implications of these increasingly connected, largely unregulated digital worlds? Where do misinformation and manipulation enter the metaverse?
Building on the research compiled in our VR 101 report, Common Sense has released a new white paper to address these and other urgent concerns. "Kids and the Metaverse: What Parents, Policymakers, and Companies Need to Know" draws on interviews and studies from leading experts in virtual and augmented reality to identify risks that the metaverse poses for young users.