SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The distribution of virtual reality (VR) textbooks for elementary school students, an initiative developed by the Ministry of Education, is being hindered by restrictions that ban children from using VR headsets.
According to the guidelines set by the government, VR is defined as recreational content for school curricula that combines smartphones and head-mounted displays to deliver a three-dimensional experience to children.
As it turns out, however, VR headsets can be dangerous for children.
The user manual for the Samsung Gear VR stipulates that one in 4,000 users may experience severe nausea, stroke, epilepsy, or even lose consciousness.
Similarly, the manuals for Sony VR headsets strongly recommend that children under 12 years of age refrain from using the devices.
HTC also recommends that children not use VR headsets.
Despite such restrictions, the Ministry of Education spent 1.2 billion won (US$1 million) to develop VR content.
Since 2017, the government has spent 15.8 billion won to create digital content for schools across the country.
Experts argue that for the safety of students, the ministry should stop all production and distribution of VR content and conduct research on the risk of all VR content.
“It is true that there hasn’t been enough research on the risk and stability of using VR headsets,” said a government official.
The ministry plans to replace VR content with tablet PCs for elementary school students, and work with municipal and provincial offices of education to take necessary safety measures in using VR content.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)