Horizon Worlds opens to teenagers: announced a few hours ago on the official Meta blog. Until now, the minimum age to access Mark Zuckerberg’s giant virtual reality platform was 18. Within the next few weeks it will be reduced to 13 years, at least in the US and Canada – but a “robust set of age protections and default security settings”.
“Teenagers can explore immersive worlds,” explains Meta, “play games like Arena Clash and Giant Mini Paddle Golf, enjoy concerts and live comedy shows, connect with other users from around the world and express themselves as they create their own virtual experiences”. Parents have control over teens’ account preferences They can decide whether to change some of the default settings; Teenagers, on the other hand, can apply. For example:
- Teen profiles are inherently personal
- Online/Offline status is not displayed by default
- The anti-harassment feature that converts strangers’ voices (not included in your friends list) to melodies and your own voice to strangers is enabled by default.
- No adults appear in the teenager’s “People You Know” section
This is not the first time that this particular demographic group has had the opportunity to access the metaverse: in fact, the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to mass virtual experiences, has arguably made them more enthusiastic to welcome. Concerts, shows and movie screenings to casual video games. With concerts attracting tens of thousands of spectators, Fortnite has been a benchmark in this regard.
Rumors have been swirling for months that Horizon Worlds will struggle to attract new users – in reality it can’t retain existing ones, and welcomes the young people who have always played a fundamental role in determining its success. Content and technologies in the entertainment industry will help change the meta.
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