Can children play PSVR 2? Here's what you need to know
You need to be a certain age if you want to use Sony's PS5 virtual reality headset
Sony’s PSVR 2 brings the magic of virtual reality to PS5 gamers everywhere – at least for those who are willing to part with $549 for the headset. But can children play PSVR 2? The answer might surprise you.
Before you rush out and buy a PSVR 2 for your family home and start playing all the PSVR 2 games on offer, it’s worth knowing the answer to this question. After all, if your kids can’t play Sony’s PS5 headset, is PSVR 2 worth it for your family? Probably not.
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According to Sony, children under the age of 12 should not use PSVR 2. Sony makes this clear in the PlayStation VR2 instruction manual, where a warning can be found in the health and safety section. If you’re planning on letting your child use Sony’s new headset and they’re under 12, you might want to reconsider as it could cause discomfort or some ill effects.
Sony also advises that those who use a pacemaker or other medical device should consult their doctor or the manufacturer before using the PSVR 2, as the radio waves could affect electronic equipment or medical devices.
Why children shouldn’t use PSVR 2
But why are young children not supposed to use VR headsets? Well, it’s essentially down to how VR tricks your brain. A 2014 study by the University of California found that using VR can alter the behavior of the neurons in certain areas of your brain, especially those that deal with spatial learning.
“We do not have enough data on the safety of current VR technology for children,” Marientina Gotsis, director of the creative media & behavioral health center at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts told Live Science. “So, the sparsity of research data and what we know about neuroplasticity [the brain's ability to reorganize itself] and children does not make me comfortable to recommend what is available now as is.”
While there’s no consensus on what age children should be before they can safely use VR headsets – HTC specifically tells children not to use its devices while Sony says users should be aged 12 and above – more research is needed into the long-term effects of VR on young children. That hasn’t stopped Meta from trying to lower the minimum age for VR, which it currently advises should be for ages 13 and up.
Children who use VR and are under the age of 12 may suffer adverse effects when using virtual reality headsets, like eyestrain, or they might ignore feelings of sickness if they’re engrossed in a game. They may also have trouble wearing the PSVR 2 itself or could get the cable tangled around their feet.
Motion sickness is one of the more common side effects of using VR, especially for newcomers. If you’re wondering ‘Does PSVR 2 make you feel sick?’, you can follow our tips to combat motion sickness while playing PSVR 2 games. In my experience, it really depends on the game you’re playing, but here’s some quick advice: stop playing immediately if you begin to feel queasy. You’ll thank me later.
It’s clear that PSVR 2 isn’t suitable for children of a certain age, so bear this in mind if you had planned on purchasing a PlayStation VR2 for your kids to play with. If you do have age-appropriate children but would still like to limit the amount of time they spend in VR, you can restrict their usage as necessary. Head to Settings > Family and Parental Controls, and you can set restrictions for each child.
Have you just bought a PlayStation VR? These are the only PSVR 2 accessories you need and all the PSVR 2 games you can play sitting down if you’d like to take a load off. I’ve also found that playing games sitting down is the best way to combat motion sickness.
Updated: September 27, 2023