Friday, 6 April 2018

What parents should know about Roblox

All three of my kids love Roblox and all three of them use it to play completely different games. My oldest likes to play adventure games and mazes, my daughter loves playing a game where you are a parent and have to adopt a child while my youngest likes to try and deliver pizzas but really just rides around on a mo-ped driving in circles. It is cool to know that all these games were designed by others, such a creative outlet for people of all ages. It is a robust platform that can provide your child endless fun but there are a couple things you as a parent should be aware of prior to use.

What is Roblox?
Roblox is a game design platform where users are able to create their own games and publish them to the platform allowing others to play their creations. There are games where players work at a pizzeria and others which require users to defend the world from a zombie outbreak. Games are all multiplayer-based, and feature in-game chat and messaging. It's important to note that there have been reports online of inappropriate, hateful and sexual communication via the chat and messaging systems. Parents have the ability to limit or remove the online communications via the in-game settings.

Check out the short video below to see what the gameplay is like and what your child will be doing. The video comes for the official Xbox Youtube Channel

Violence (1/5)
Some games do have violence via fighting and/or guns. The mindcraft-esque style of graphics prevents anything from being too realistic.

Sexual Content (1/5)
There have been reports that some games have naked or sexually suggestive content but I did not come across any to date. Roblox Corporation actively works on filtering these games out.

Language (0/5)
Roblox does not include any inappropriate or offensive language directly but this can be introduced by the online interaction with other players as outlined below.

Online Interaction (5/5)
This is where the major issues lie. The open chat system and in-game messaging may expose children to inappropriate language, bullying, and sexual content. While this may be few and far between it is possible.  Online interactions can be disabled via in-game settings as outlined in one of our other posts

In-Game Purchases (4/5)
Roblox has an online store where users can spend Robux (the in-game currency of Roblox) on cosmetic items for their avatars. There are ads on the site and in-game advertising these items. Robux can be purchased in the Roblox Store for real money or earned in-game by selling items to other players. There is also a Builder's Club membership (ranging from $5.95 to $19.95 per month) which users can buy to receive a daily sum of Robux, exclusive game extra items, and remove in-game ads. I did not see an option to block in-game transactions directly in the game so you may need to make sure they are disabled on the device your child uses to play Roblox.

That just about covers it. Roblox is a cool, creative platform that I would have loved to play with as a child! I think that by limiting the online communication your child can have a lot of fun with it too. I am just waiting and hoping now for one of my kids to want to design their own game in it.... a geeky father can dream :). 

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