A large majority of Brits want there to be restrictions on users of VR performing actions that would be illegal in real life regardless of the popularity of violence in online gaming, according to new research from Wiggin.
The study, which was conducted alongside ComRes and polled 2,003 British adults, found that 63% of respondents were in support of such restrictions. One in five, (19%), said that users should be allowed to do as they wish in VR regardless of its legality in real life, while over half, (58%) think VR should have age restrictions. 41% said that they would be concerned about committing a crime in VR.
The majority of the respondents (69%) said that they would be concerned about not being aware of what is happening in the real world while using VR, while 59% worried about a reduced sense of right and wrong while in a VR experience. 58% feared they would become addicted to VR experiences, while a similar number (55%) cited the experience of VR affecting behaviour even after use.
Alexander Ross, a partner in the technology team at Wiggin, said: “These results are entirely at odds with the huge popularity of violent gaming. Many computer games contain violence of some kind and many make a feature of extreme violence. It is unlikely that large numbers of gamers lie awake at night worrying about the avatars they have terminated that day.
“It may be that the total immersion that VR technology provides blurs the boundaries with real life to such an extent that the regulation which currently governs more traditional media will be seen as wholly inadequate,” added Ross.
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