Massive online multiplayer games based on virtual reality (VR) are becoming more popular among people. According to statistics, 171 million people are registered on different virtual platforms. Virtual reality games provide users with a chance to choose a virtual avatar and live a virtual life.
In this virtual life, people are allowed to do anything they wish but do not feel comfortable doing in real life. It also provides an opportunity to meet new people, carryout new experiments, and explore new interests.
A survey conducted by statista shows only 4% of respondents between the age of 12 and 17 said they are not interested in virtual worlds, this means that the remaining 96% are interested and many of them might be playing virtual reality-based multiplayer online games. It exposes them to various explicit content in these games such as virtual drugs, and gambling. And these habits can affect their mental health in real life, so there is a need to have proper age verification systems to reduce the risk of youth exposure to explicit content in virtual worlds. Here are some
Issues Regarding UnderAge usage of Virtual Gaming Platforms
While these platforms are easily accessible and contain explicit content such as violent activities, drug use, and adult content. Many peers have been raising the concern if it is appropriate for the children to interact with these virtual platforms.
Another issue being raised is the real-time interaction between adults and underage people. Not only could it lead to cyberbullying and predation but also more violent offenses.
Many people also argue that rather restricting underage people, virtual platform operators need to make changes to their content. Or even, make platforms where the interaction with inappropriate stuff or between adults and children is restricted.
How Online Age Verification can help?
Even though the rules and regulations prohibit the sites and platforms containing adult content to verify the age of the user but a large number of platforms use vague verification methods which could easily be bypassed. The self-authentication by the user is most common. We could not expect that the user will not lie about their age. The operators on the other side argue that with millions of users online, it is not possible to verify every user manually.
Fortunately, Artifical Intelligence and Machine learning-based verification solutions can assist in carrying out this task of verification. The virtual world operators could include a separate ‘adult-only’ sections and make Age verification mandatory to access this section. And users who want to access this section will have to go through the Age verification check.
How does Online Age Verification work?
In online Identity verification, a user is asked to upload a picture of a document as a proof they come in age bracket required to access adult content. This document could be a government-issued ID card, passport, driving license. After that required information like name, date of birth, and document number is extracted using OCR. This information is analyzed using AI and HI and once verified, the user is allowed to access the adult-only section. This will ensure that underage people are protected against explicit content and cyberbullying.
To prevent children from age-restricted content online, virtual world platforms should include age verification checks. It will not only help them to comply with the law but will also protect children from accessing inappropriate online content.
Operators could either build an in-house verification system or contract verification to third party providers. There is third-party age verification software that provides APIs that can easily be integrated with virtual platforms and perform age verification. The verification is carried out quickly in realtime, so it will not drive legitimate users away.