Parents' Guide to

VRChat

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Reliance on user created content is a VR double edged sword.

VRChat packshot

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 13 parent reviews

age 18+

18+ game. And here's why:

This app should DEFINITELY be 18+. There are a lot of adults running around, inappropriate avatars, inappropriate language, crashers (hard and soft), and the game can and will glitch out. I highly recommend you do NOT let your kids (especially the 8 year olds who are saying the N word ) run around. Rec room is more age appropriate as VRchat is more for adults. Though there ARE good adults who protect the youngins (like my group) there are thousands who will bully, demean, belittle, harass , or worse. And no, reporting does not always mean insta-ban or being dox'd/KOS. Watch out for your kids, listen for grooming behaviors, and go through their avatars. Because I bet they've got some nsfw avatars they use as "jokes". Vrchat needs to stay 18+.
age 16+

This game can change lives

I have thousands of hours in this game, it’s a major part of my social life. I met my boyfriend on VRchat and now we live together. Other reviewers have covered the “casual” aspects of this game really well: the user generated content, the foul language, etc. In this review, I’d like to call attention to the deeper social aspects of the game. After playing for a while, users will tend to fall into certain friend groups and communities, and spend the majority of their time playing with the same circle of friends. This can of course be a double edged sword. I would caution parents that if their child spends a lot of time in VRchat, they should make an effort to communicate with them about who their friends are, and what social circles they are running in. Users can explore new sides to themselves, and make amazing friends. Unfortunately I have heard about and run across many underage users that have social lives that I’m certain would raise a red flag for parents. Yes, a child may be exposed to drinking, drugs, strong language and all those other “content” concerns. The real risk is that your adolescent may be spending 3 hours a night in a romantic relationship with a VFX artist from Wichita.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (13 ):
Kids say (15 ):

There are some things in life that can't necessarily be defined in basic terms of black and white, but instead are made up by various shades of grey. VRChat is one of these things. After all, the very thing that makes the socially driven virtual reality platform brim with positive potential is also its own worst enemy, and that's the people using it. VRChat is built on the premise that, using its available features and tools, users can do just about anything and be just about anyone they want, all in a seamless virtual environment that's as simple to navigate as the real world. And in many ways, from a purely technical standpoint, VRChat succeeds in doing just that. The problem is, if you give people a giant sandbox to play in without much supervision, there will inevitably be those that just want to kick dirt on everyone else.

Make no mistake about it, technical suggestions on VR tech aside, VRChat is no place for younger audiences. For every person that might be using an avatar to exist in a way that they might not be comfortable with or even able to in the real world, there will be people using that same anonymity to as a mask to cover reprehensible behavior that would never be acceptable in the real world. You might enter one room and find a group of welcoming folks eager to swap stories and share knowledge, while walking into another exposes you to a cesspool of human toxicity and cruelty. It's hard at times to get through any lengthy session of VRChat without running into some sort of offensive content, be it a disturbing avatar or image upload by another user or a lewd conversation from a stranger. Because the platforms thrives on user-content, moderating that content seems to be low on the list of VRChat's priorities. Sure, you can mute others, block their avatars, and even report misconduct, but only after the fact. The result is a sort of Wild West lawlessness in a virtual, neon fueled fever dream. And even though there's so much potential for good and positive uses in the platform, that can only come with learning how to deal with those that would use the same tools for all the wrong reasons.

Game Details

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