Plenty of toys and board games have age recommendations right on the box. Video games and movies, too.
But in just about every case, these are recommendations rather than requirements. If a parent feels that their child can play an M-rated game or watch an R-rated movie without any issues, they can make that call.
But when it comes to VR, it’s a very different story, and that’s because of just how different VR is from other forms of entertainment.
So if you’ve been wondering, ‘What is the age limit for Oculus Quest 2?’ you’re in the right place.
First up, here’s the answer: 13. 13 is the minimum age for an Oculus Quest 2 user. And again, this isn’t just a recommendation, it’s the limit that’s been set by the folks at Facebook/Meta.
Here’s what Meta has to say on the subject:
“Meta Quest devices are not toys and must not be used by children under 13. Younger children have greater risks of injury and adverse effects than older users. While we know that children under 13 may want to use Meta Quest devices, we do not permit them to create accounts or use Meta Quest devices.”
For the rest of the article, we’ll be sharing our own thoughts on this age restriction and speculate as to what the upper age limit should be for the Quest 2 and other VR devices.
So why is 13 the age limit for Quest 2 users? Well, as Meta explained above, using the Quest 2 (and presumably any other VR headset) poses more serious risks to children. VR is exhausting, both mentally and physically, and it stands to reason that children might not respond well to VR experiences.
Also, children aren’t very good at setting limits on their recreation, especially when it comes to video games, and prolonged exposure to VR for anyone, of any age, could have serious repercussions.
From a legal standpoint, it’s just a smart move for Meta to set a hard limit on their Quest devices.
Does this age limit mean that no child under the age of 13 has ever used a Quest 2? Almost definitely not. Kids like to break the rules, and there’s a good chance that plenty of parents don’t even know about the age restriction.
But if anything were to go wrong for a younger user, Meta would quickly point out that this age restriction has always been in place.
This age restriction also makes it a little bit easier for Meta to manage the content on their digital storefront. VR games aren’t subjected to the standard video game rating system from the ESRB, so there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to which games are appropriate for which age groups.
That said, based on our personal experiences with the Quest storefront, there isn’t a lot of content that could be considered explicitly ‘adult,’ at least not in the category of sexual content.
There are definitely quite a few violent and/or scary games on the Quest storefront, but it’s nowhere near as risky as any major video game console storefront or even social media sites in terms of inappropriate content.
With an age requirement of 13, Meta can ensure that users are at least reasonably mature, and on the parents’ side of things, if they aren’t satisfied with the state of available software, they can set parental limits for the device.
So to sum up, for many practical reasons, 13 is a valid and understandable age requirement for Quest 2 users, or that matter, users of any VR headset.
What’s the Upper Limit?
So if users have to be at least 13 years old to use a Quest 2, is there an upper age limit? We weren’t able to find one listed on the Meta Quest website, but just for fun, we’d like to speculate on what a reasonable upper age limit for VR devices might be.
Health risks are the most pertinent reason for any sort of age restriction, so an upper age limit would need to consider various health concerns that are much more likely in old age.
Specifically, failing eyesight could lead to major problems with VR usage, and if a user already needs corrective lenses to see up-close, it might be difficult for them to use VR effectively in the first place.
Users who experience epilepsy should stay away from VR in general, no matter their age, unless they’re absolutely sure that they won’t be engaging in any experiences that contain flashing visuals.
As a ballpark figure, we’ll say that the upper age limit for VR devices would be between 65 and 70 years old, but of course it depends heavily on the circumstances of each individual.
Then there’s the intensity of the VR experiences themselves. Any frequent VR user already knows just how crazy things can get inside of the headset, and an older person might not be prepared for that kind of intensity.
That said, VR also has plenty of serene and/or relaxing experiences to offer. In fact, there are quite a few labs and organizations currently studying the potential therapeutic applications of VR technology.
It could be that twenty years from now, some form of VR tech will be commonplace in hospitals and rest homes.
For the moment, we urge caution when recommending VR to anyone, at any age, who seems like they might be at risk of experiencing adverse effects.
If someone is interested in VR, regardless of any potential risks, then it’s best to let them test it out in a safe environment and in small doses. If someone was interested in skydiving, you wouldn’t let them jump out of a plane right away, without any training and the proper equipment.
But that’s all for now. Thanks for joining us on this very long road to answer a simple question. And hey, if you feel like supporting the real people behind this website, consider sticking around and checking out some of the articles we’ve posted over the past two and a half years. We’d really appreciate it.