Keeping Kids Safe in the World of RobloxAmber Brandt
In a recent interview with The Verge, Roblox reported it averaged more than 150 million monthly users, and that over half of US kids and teens are likely playing their game – but is it safe? Here’s a crash course of this popular game and what parents need to know.
First off, what is Roblox?
Roblox is a free, online game-creation platform that allows users to design and upload their own game and play games designed by others – often advertised as an “imagination platform.” It’s accessible through an app that’s available on smartphone, tablet, and computer. Roblox features a multiplayer format with free, open communication.
What’s the appeal?
Young gamers are especially drawn to the app because it’s easy to use, creative and free – with thousands of games to explore. According to the Roblox website, players can build theme parks, compete in sporting events or a fashion show, become a superhero and more.
Let’s unpack the risks
Given the details above, the risks become easy to spot.
Predatory behavior. According to Josh Nelson of Parents Together, “While many of the interactions children will have on Roblox are with other children, like many interactive platforms, there are also adults – including child predators – lurking on Roblox.” The game has moderators and rules, but there are always ways for individuals with bad intentions to make their way into a child’s chatroom.
Adult content. Because every bit of material in the game is user-generated, children run the risk of encountering inappropriate language or explicit, adult content. Roblox is taking steps to eliminate this content in the game – but it’s very difficult to keep up.
How to keep your child safe.
Because the platform is perfect for creators, there will always be some level of risk. But according to experts, the best way to keep your child safe in the world of Roblox is to familiarize yourself with the parental controls.
· Join your child in playing the game and get to know how to navigate it alongside them.
· Disable their chat functionality and enable account restrictions in the settings > privacy menu.
· Allow them to play where you can supervise, not closed in their room.
Overall, Roblox is a great option to help your child learn, develop skills and have fun online. Just be sure you’re keeping open communication with them and setting up parental controls so you both succeed.
Want to learn more about Roblox? Check out Common Sense Media’s ultimate deep dive.