Horizon Worlds Now Has an 18 and Up Tag, Allowing for More Mature VR Material

Horizon Worlds is a platform developed by Meta that enables users to create virtual reality (VR) spaces for collaborative use. The company is expanding the types of content that can be included in these worlds.

The company has updated its policy to permit creators to include “mature” content that was banned entirely and added an 18 and up tag for user-created worlds. UploadVR claims that creators who have published worlds have been notified via email that they must indicate whether or not their world is intended for mature or all-ages audiences.

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The Horizon Mature Worlds Policy page on Meta’s website was archived in April, so it appears that the site is now accepting previously restricted content. Sexually suggestive content, depictions of “regulated goods or activities,” such as marijuana and alcohol, and graphic depictions of violence were previously stated to be prohibited on this page. Assuming you give such elements a mature rating, you can now potentially incorporate them into your world.

Yes, there are still some limitations.

Horizon Worlds 18 Up Tag Allowing More Mature VR Material
Horizon Worlds 18 Up Tag Allowing More Mature VR Material

Content that is “sexually suggestive,” such as “near nudity,” “portrayals of people in implied or suggestive positions,” or “an environment focused on activities that are overly suggestive” may be included in a work that has been rated “mature.” Nakedness, depictions of people in explicit positions, and sexually provocative or implied content or worlds are still off-limits.

Substances under regulation and acts of violence fall under the same category. Mature communities can’t advocate for “illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs,” but they can be devoted to or focused on “the promotion of marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, or age-regulated activities (including gambling).” While “intense or excessively violent fictional content” featuring blood and gore “that could shock or disgust users” is permitted, depictions of actual acts of violence are not.

There are probably many grey areas you haven’t yet noticed. When it comes to sex, how suggestive is too suggestive? And in many parts of the United States, marijuana is also illegal. Meta, a company that places a premium on a well-moderated metaverse, is leaving itself wide open to conflicts with boundary-pushing creators.

Meta has had trouble maintaining a “safe and welcoming environment for everyone” on Horizon, as its policies page claims. To address concerns that players were acting out sexual harassment during the game’s beta, the developers implemented a system that, by default, stops other players’ avatars from getting too close to yours. As a means of reducing the potential for harassment in online communities, it also includes the option to make strangers’ voices inaudible if you aren’t friends with them.

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