Roblox has become one of the most popular gaming platforms in the world, and has over 120 million active monthly users. In many education sessions, parents and young people often mention this gaming platform, and young people regularly talk about how much they enjoy the various games, and the different levels present in them. While the games may make it seem like a kid-friendly digital platform aimed at kids, there are still certain issues within the online community that parents will find frightening. Read on to learn more about Roblox, what dangers to look out for on the platform, and how parents can make sure their child stays safe on this online platform.
What Is Roblox?
Roblox is an online gaming platform that allows users to create and share their own games using the proprietary game-developing tools of Roblox, and allows users to play games designed by other players. These games could include delivering pizzas, starring in a fashion show, and roaming in an old kingdom as a knight.
Once you create an account on Roblox, you will be able to play from an infinite collection of games, share and build creations, and chat with other players for free. These are some of the reasons why Roblox is very popular with young people. People who love Roblox may need Robux, and would want to subscribe to the Builders Club that provides players with additional features once the membership fee is paid. Robux is the in-game currency. By creating games, players can earn Robux. If game creators can attract a lot of in-game adverts and players, they will be able to earn a lot of Robux, which can be converted into actual money.
Should Kids Play Roblox?
Roblox has many educational benefits of designing, curiosity, and building, so you can allow your children to play on the gaming platform. Roblox games for kids are mostly safe, and the company invests a lot of resources to keep Roblox age-appropriate and safe. However, since there are a lot of users online, there are still chances of your children being exposed to age-inappropriate content. Be sure to check all the parental controls, and read the guide for parents properly.
What Is the Minimum Required Age for Playing Roblox?
Though the games are aimed for children between the ages of 8 and 18, Roblox does not specify a minimum age, and players of any age can join and create groups and chats, and interact with other players. Most people recommend the game for children above the ages of 13 (Roblox age rating is 12 in many other places) because of the learning potential it offers. For kids, however, parents will still have to enable privacy settings, teach their children how to avoid inappropriate content, and help them understand what online predators are. For children under the age of 13, there are additional safety features that parents can check out and implement. Therefore, make sure the account is registered with the right age.
Dangers of Roblox for Kids
The first questions parents get about the platform is, “Is Roblox ok for kids?” Roblox, like any other online gaming platform, has a few dangers that parents should be aware of, and these include the following:
1. Beware of Predators on Third-Party Chat Apps
Even when the chat messaging is turned off and the parental controls are turned on, predators have still found a method to talk to children on the platform.
Third-party chat apps will mostly look like they are part of Roblox, but these are in fact a back door to reach children. Through these apps, predators will find a way to reach out to children and influence them into sharing personal information.
To avoid this, check up on your child’s games regularly, even when the parental controls are switched on. Teach your children to leave the game and report to you whenever they are contacted by a person they do not know who has asked to share personal information or send photos.
2. Beware of Roblox YouTube Videos
A lot of players record their games on Roblox, and upload those videos on YouTube. A lot of YouTube Roblox videos online feature violent themes or sexual content such as sexual assaults and school shootings. Many people even use code words to include in keywords like “shex” instead of “sex” to get around the YouTube filters.
On YouTube, it is very easy for children to find inappropriate Roblox videos. Since there is too much risk here for little children, it is best to not allow them to go through Roblox videos on their own. Let them only stick to the actual game that is continuously followed by an adult and has high parental control.
3. Look Out for Sexualized Avatars
Players sometimes may be exposed to certain avatars that have been programmed to perform demeaning and sexual acts during online games. There have been cases before where children were being invited to “sex rooms” in the game, and all the characters were involved in inappropriate acts.
In order to avoid this, be sure the parental controls are at the highest settings to make Roblox appropriate for children. Roblox also provides guides for parents that help them report and block inappropriate players. Parents will also be allowed to restrict certain games, especially those featuring scary and sensitive content.
4. Watch Out for Bypassed Audios
Some players use “bypassed audio” to share inappropriate content. These could include racial slurs, swear words, or offensive dialogues that players can get past the Roblox moderators. Stay close to your children when they are gaming online. This can help you see if any inappropriate content is being sent to your children visually or audibly.
How Can Parents Protect Their Kids from Roblox?
Here are a few things you could do to protect your children from the dangers of Roblox.
1. Setting Parental Controls
The first and the most important thing you must do is enter the correct date of birth while creating your child’s account. This will automatically trigger kid-friendly safe-chat that contains better filtering levels. Moreover, this would provide you with a separate parent login and PIN that will help you check up on your child’s interactions in the game.
You could limit games to those curated by the staff of Roblox by the following way:
- Log in to the website, roblox.com
- Click on the Gear icon that is present in the top right.
- Click on “Settings” and then “Security”.
- Enable the “Account Restrictions” slider.
There are many other parental control options that can be used to make sure Roblox is completely safe for little ones. Most of them are present on the Roblox website.
2. Monitoring Account Activities
There are many ways to monitor your child’s account activity. You can check out the following histories when you are logging in:
- Private message history (Messages)
- Direct and small group chat (Chat & Party feature present at the lower right corner) – Here, you would be able to see all the individual chat histories.
- Friends and Followers (Friends)
- Creations such as items, games, sounds, ads, and many more (Create, present on browser only)
- Virtual item purchase and trade history (My Transactions, present on browser only)
- Recently played games (Home, My Recent, or Keep Playing)
3. Restricting Online Interactions
When it is an online game, players can communicate and interact with each other, and there will be many communications options, such as written or voice messages, and can be done after friend requests are made.
You could easily restrict these interactions in the Settings option of your child’s account:
- Log in to roblox.com.
- Click on the Gear icon present at the top right.
- Choose Settings and then Privacy.
- Restrict interactions through Content Settings and Other Settings.
However, this does not disable the friend requests on the website. Therefore, do check the account’s Friend Requests page to make sure that your child is not accepting strangers’ requests.
4. Other Tips
No matter which game sites children use, these tips can help you make sure your kid stays safe during his playtime!
1. Have regular conversations.
Showing interest in the games your child likes and plays can help you be sure that he is safe online. You could show interest through watching your child play, or having a conversation about the games he likes. You could even play your child’s favourite games with him! When children see that you are as involved as they are, they would feel more comfortable talking to you about things and coming to you when they need your help.
2. Teach them the importance of personal information.
Make sure your little one understands:
- How important it is to keep personal information private and safe.
- That he should come straight to you if the game’s chat goes from being only about the game to sharing personal information, meeting up offline, or sending personal images.
3. Set rules about spending real money in games.
Talk to your children about budgets, and make sure they understand that it is possible to spend real money online. You can make promises that you know would work in your family. You could even ask your children to get your permission whenever they want to make an in-game purchase.
4. Encourage them to talk to you.
Remind your children to come straight to you whenever they see mean comments, inappropriate content, or anything else they are uncomfortable with or do not think is normal. You can report these sort of problems within Roblox, and necessary actions will be taken.
While a lot of spaces and posts online can scare parents into banning the gaming platform, the real danger is losing the opportunity to have helpful and healthy conversations with your children about appropriate online behaviour. The best way to avoid risks in your family is to play Roblox games together, and keep consoles and devices in shared family spaces, so that you can always see and hear what your child is up to.