Parents see virtual reality as providing some benefits to their children, but they also have concerns, based on a new national study.
The majority (58%) of parents think virtual reality will allow children to do things they otherwise couldn’t do and most (60%) say VR will allow children to have educational experiences.
The study comprised a survey of 12,000 U.S. adults, 3,600 of whom were the parent of at least one child under 18 and 470 of whom had a child between eight and 17 who uses virtual reality. The data was weighted to reflect U.S. demographics and was conducted by Common Sense, an independent nonprofit organization.
Most (68%) parents are concerned that their children would spend too much time with virtual reality and 66% have concerns that children will encounter sexual or violent content. Most (58%) parents are concerned that children will experience negative health effects while using virtual reality.
The majority (59%) of parents with children under 18 say it would be appropriate for a child to start using VR at age 12. Fewer than a quarter (22%) of those parents say their children has requesed the purchase of a VR device.
Among households that own a VR device, the majority (53%) are satisfied with their experiences with them.
Of households that own a VR device, the most owned are Samsung Gear (32%), followed by Sony PlayStation VR (19%), Google Cardboard (12%), Oculus Rift (9%) and HTC Vive (5%). Almost a third (29%) of parents were not sure of which device is owned.
The top uses of VR in households that have them are playing games (76%), watching videos or movies (38%), exploring environments (33%) and to learn something (22%).