Meta adds an 18+ tag to Horizon Worlds, opening the door to mature VR content

Meta adds an 18+ tag to Horizon Worlds, opening the door to mature VR content

Meta is expanding the type of content allowed in the virtual worlds people create for Horizon Worlds, its platform for people to create VR spaces for shared experiences. The company added an 18+ tag for user-made worlds and updated its policy to allow creators to insert “adult” content that was previously banned entirely. Corresponding Upload VRCreators who have published worlds have received an email telling them that they must manually mark whether their world is safe or suitable for all audiences – if they don’t, it will default to 18+ older restricted.

Based on an April Wayback Machine archive of Meta’s Horizon Mature Worlds Policy page, this means Meta is now allowing content that was previously banned. The site previously stated that sexually suggestive content, depictions of “regulated goods or activities” such as weed and alcohol, and graphically violent content are completely taboo in Horizon Worlds. Well, you might be able to include these kinds of things in your world as long as you mark them as mature.

Of course there are still restrictions. Let’s break these down.

If you tag your word as “Adult,” you can include “sexually suggestive” content such as “near nudity, depictions of people in suggestive or suggestive positions, or an environment that focuses on overly suggestive activity.” But you tip do porn at full throttle; “Nudity, depictions of persons in explicit positions, or content or worlds that are sexually provocative or implied” are still prohibited.

The same goes for regulated substances and violence. You may have mature worlds dedicated to or focused on “the promotion of marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, or age-related activities (including gambling)” but you may not promote “illegal drugs or prescription drug abuse.” And while you can have “intense or overly violent fictional content” with gore and gore that “might shock or repel users,” you’re not allowed to show it true life Force.

You may find that there are some places where the lines are blurry. How suggestive is too suggestive when it comes to sex? And weed in the US is an illegal drug in many places. For a company that sees Metaverse moderation as critical to its success, Meta definitely leaves room for issues that can arise for developers looking to push the boundaries.

Meta has struggled with ensuring Horizon is a “safe and welcoming environment for all,” according to the policy page. Introduced a system that by default prevents other users from getting their avatars too close to yours after they complained of people mimicking sexual harassment during the game’s beta. It also introduced a feature that allows you to make people’s voices unintelligible if you’re not friends with them, which could help avoid harassment in virtual public spaces.

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