Games consoles, screens and technology can be a hindrance to families who want to keep their kids active. There’s nothing worse than trying to drag a child out for a walk when they’re engrossed in playing a game or watching TV. For many of us, that’s a good enough reason to avoid games consoles. Cue multiple arguments with children who really, really need one.
Thankfully, there is now an alternative. With VR headsets for the home becoming more mainstream, it has become possible to use technology to get kids active. We have been checking out the Oculus Meta Quest 2 VR Headset, available from Very. Dancing, riding roller coasters, climbing Everest, boxing and learning about sharks. And all without leaving the comfort of our own home.
About the headset
Put on the headset and step into a virtual world that adapts to your every movement without the need for a games console or PC. The Meta Quest 2 display is absolutely stunning and fully three dimensional. Every game and experience tracks the movement of your head, whilst the handheld touch-controllers translate your hand gestures and motions into VR.
The Oculus Meta Quest 2 is recommended for children aged 13 years old and over. However, this is due to the necessity to connect it with a Meta/Facebook account. As I wanted the children to be able to play it as well, I connected it to my Facebook and let them use it under my supervision. If you would prefer to connect to a computer that is compatible with gaming, you’ll need to grab an Oculus Link Cable.
Setting up this headset is extremely easy. Simply grab the Meta Quest app for your phone and connect with the VR device. Once this is done, you can log in to other accounts to experience their VR offering. For example, it is very simple to log into both Netflix and Amazon Prime. You can also connect with the Meta browser and get access to all sorts of games and experiences.
Staying active as a family with the Oculus Meta Quest 2 VR Headset
I do need to prefix this by saying that we are already an extremely active family. Traditionally though, we do tend to take part in all our physical activities outside of the house. Like most kids, when my girls are at home they often take up residence in front of a screen. These days, even doing homework involves being in front of the laptop. So, we are keen to encourage anything that gets them moving.
Despite many requests from the girls, we have so far resisted buying a games console. It just seemed like one more thing to keep them sitting still. Thankfully though, the Oculus Meta Quest 2 VR Headset offers the best of both worlds. There are plenty of games to choose from, and most of them involve moving around. Take a dancing game like Beat Saber for example.
This virtual reality game submerges the player into a neon environment where music plays. Using their hands (holding the controllers), the player slices through blocks with each block represents a musical beat. Games like this are ideal for the whole family. The choice of music is very eclectic, so we are all able to find songs we like. There are different difficulty levels too, and whether you mean to or not, you end up dancing along.
Not into dancing? Boxing, chess, basketball and other sports are available too. Each gets the player active and you definitely work up a sweat. The headset allows you to draw a boundary around your playing space. Doing so prevents you from walking into things so you are free to completely focus on the game.
Other things you can do on the Oculus Meta Quest 2 VR Headset
Whilst we are all using the headset for active games, we have checked out a few of the other options too. Things we loved include:
- Watching television and films in VR which makes it look like you are in a cinema. You can even turn all the way around and see the empty chairs.
- Virtual reality roller coasters that you need to sit down to watch because it feels so much like you are actually on a roller coaster that my youngest fell over.
- Immersive, educational experiences like climbing Everest and exploring under the sea with sharks.
- The feeling of flying in a wing suit after jumping out of a helicopter.
Other activities that we haven’t yet tried include watching live events and sports. There are both free and paid options for games, apps and experiences. We have only used the free ones so far, Beat Saber currently comes free when you buy the Oculus Meta Quest 2 VR Headset.