Epic Games says it will add a new feature called “cabined accounts” for the safety of children on its platforms.
Although the cabined accounts are similar to normal accounts, certain features will be disabled.
For instance, when a player indicates their age as under 13, or under or his/her country’s age of digital consent, their account is automatically cabined.
Parental controls are a good idea because they can help parents to manage their children’s access to potentially harmful or age-inappropriate content on the internet and other media. These controls can be used to block or filter out inappropriate websites, apps or metaverses, set limits on the amount of time that children are allowed to spend online, and monitor their online activities to ensure that they are staying safe.
Cabined accounts can not chat
Accounts falling into this category will be compelled to provide an adult’s email address, where Epic will seek parental consent.
As part of the measures, “cabined accounts” can not chat and make purchases.
Under the new rules seen as an attempt to protect minors in the metaverse, parents or guardians must agree to a child’s use of the account before they can access anything apart from the three games.
But such parental controls could force children to lie about their ages to gain access.
Epic says it doesn’t want kids to feel “restricted.”
“Another approach has been to offer a fulsome experience for younger players, but if kids do not obtain permission from their parents, they are locked out entirely with no alternatives. Neither of these are optimal,” the company said.
The company feels this is indeed part of measures to keep children safe inside the fast-growing metaverse. This comes after the company early this year partnered with Lego to create what it described as safe space in the metaverse for kids to create.
Sharing parental controls
The company in 2020, bought Super Awesome, an online privacy and safety platform. Super Awesome’s parental controls are given to all developers.
All cabined accounts will work via Super Awesome’s verification system.
Roblox does the same
It’s not the only game that offers specific parental controls.
Roblox offers safety features for children under the age of 13, such as chat filters or the ability to turn off chat. The VIVE also provides child safety protections for younger children through a feature they call Guardian.
Google Cardboard doesn’t set an age limit, but suggests that kids should only use it with close parental supervision. The Quest 2, on the other hand, is strictly marketed to ages 13 and up.
Parental controls can help parents to educate their children about responsible and safe use of the internet and other media, and to establish rules and boundaries for their media use.
This can help to prevent children from being exposed to harmful or inappropriate content, and can also help to prevent them from engaging in risky online behaviors, such as sharing personal information or talking to strangers online.