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Virtual reality games for kids tend to allow children to use their imagination when playing on either the computer or a video game console. Some allow users to chat with others, typically using a made-up name or story so real details of their lives are not revealed. Such virtual reality games for kids usually also allow users to play mini-games with other players while chatting. Other types focus on letting kids create characters and help those characters complete daily tasks. On the other hand, some concentrate more on letting kids build environments that may include theme parks and cities.
Many virtual reality games for kids focus on the ability to chat with others in the game, all while surrounded by a virtual environment. Users can typically enter various areas before using the chat room, with virtual cafes, malls and parks being some of the most popular environments in which children can chat with each other. Many users pretend to be someone they are not, often called role playing, which allows them to use their imagination and come up with their own alternate reality in which their name and details are different. They may be able to play mini-games while chatting, using their pretend name as their user name.
Some virtual reality games for kids let players create characters, allowing the players to choose the characters' physical features and personality traits. Kids can then help their characters go through virtual life, which may require building a house, getting a job and completing daily tasks. For example, users may have to ensure that their character goes to work daily so he or she can make enough money to pay for the house, food and new clothes. Users also may have to push certain buttons to make sure their character eats and goes to sleep regularly. In some games, the characters also have to complete quests to make money, meaning they may be sent on adventures during which they must complete certain tasks.
Other virtual reality games for kids focus on building environments. For instance, they may be able to build their own theme park using a set amount of virtual money to buy the necessary materials. Some games let kids create a city, which may mean they have to decide where to build houses, stores and roads. They can often decorate the structures once they are built and move characters in to create their own virtual reality environment.
@KoiwiGal - I get a bit worried when kids use those games which allow them to speak to each other online. Especially younger kids who can be quite vulnerable to predators. I would always keep an eye on them, although if all their friends were doing it, I wouldn't want to deprive them of the experience.
Virtual reality games for kids is still a distance away though, I think. Even popout 3D movies have to be done in 20 minute chunks because it can mess with your eyes if it goes on any longer than that. Who knows if it could do some damage to a developing brain if they were in a simulated environment for a long period of time.
As far as I'm concerned the best way for a kid to play games is in the actual reality. I'd rather they were using their imaginations anyway.
@croydon - Yeah there are a lot of different interpretations of virtual reality. There are definitely games out there which are very immersive and allow kids to interact with each other and with the game software in a way that makes it seem like they are in another world.
But the true definition of virtual reality is when all or most of your senses are tricked into thinking they are experiencing the game as though it was reality.
While there are ways to do this, like 4D movies and VR headsets, they aren't really used for games yet. Generally they are used for training purposes or theme park rides, because they are quite expensive.
The motion sensing technology that you get with console games now is a big step towards true virtual reality though and it will probably not be long before it becomes more of an option for kids games.
I remember when they were first advertising the Kinect hardware they had what looked like an intriguing game for children on that.
The Kinect can sense your movements, so that you can play games without a controller. In this particular game you were the owner of a big cat like a tiger or a leopard and you could interact with it on the screen.
So, putting out your hand and stroking the air would make the cat on the screen act as though it was being stroked.
Kids can also do things like jump to make the cat jump and play tug of war with it and so forth.
It's probably not the kind of game that could hold the attention of an adult for long, but I think kids would adore it and it seems like the closest you're going to get to virtual reality at the moment without getting some expensive equipment.
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