Have you heard of Roblox? Here's everything you need to know about the popular game that parents should be aware of...
Crazes among children and young people come and go faster and faster nowadays thanks to the speed of social networks, but you should always be aware of what your children could be looking at or playing in their computer/smartphone/tablet/insert device here…
Following other hits like Fortnite, Roblox is the latest game that is becoming very popular among children – but do you know what it’s all about, what are the dangers for children involved and how you can keep them safe? Here’s what you need to know…
What is Roblox?
Roblox is described on their website as ‘an entertainment platform that allows people to imagine, create, and play together across millions of user-created virtual worlds’.
There are different types of games inside the platform, which have all been created by users in the Roblox community. These different ‘worlds’ can be everything from the ultimate theme park, to starring in a fashion show, to designing a dream home and hanging out with friends.
According to NSPCC and O2 Social Network Tool Net Aware, children like Roblox because it’s of the variety of games, the chance to use your creativity to create your own games, and because you can play with and talk to your friends.
Why can Roblox be dangerous for children?
There’s been reports of inappropriate content in Roblox, which even led a school in Gillingham to send out a letter warning parents about children seeing ‘naked characters walking around the game and doing very adult things’, in the game.
According to Net Aware, the problems children and young people have reported about the app are mostly do to with the fact that people they don’t know can contact you.
Users can also receive or see bullying messages in the chat, which is why parents have rated the game as high risk for bullying.
One 13-year-old boy said about the app: ‘The game has many features to block or get rid of people but I feel sometimes they don’t work. There are some offensive worlds that are a bit disturbing but you can avoid these easily as they normally have offensive thumbnails or titles.’
Another 12-year-old boy also said: ‘I don’t like the fact you can privately message people in-game, the way the gaming community surrounding it is filled with hate towards each other, or the expensive micro-transactions.’
In their site, Net Aware report that Roblox was considered to be medium risk for all other categories, which include Sexual; Violence & hatred; Suicide & self-harm; as well as Drink, drugs & crime.
Another factor that could be important for parents to consider is the fact that in-app purchases are available.
One of the universes in Roblox
What can you do to keep your kids safe while playing Roblox?
While parents should be aware of the negative aspects of the game, experts say children can still safely play if you change privacy settings and restrict activities like chat.
O2 Guru Matthew told Net Aware: ‘You can change the privacy settings on Roblox by logging into the account and selecting the gear icon in the top right-hand corner. Go to settings, privacy and review the options under contact settings and other settings.’