If you have a kid or teen at home, you've probably heard the word "Roblox" buzzing around your house. With 70.2 million daily active users and 214 million monthly users, 42.3% of whom are under 13, one thing is sure – kids love Roblox. But what exactly is Roblox, and what should parents know about this virtual universe that has become a staple in their children's lives? Let's see what Roblox is, why it is so popular among kids, and whether it is safe for your young gamer.
Roblox is not a single game; it's an online gaming platform that allows users to play a broad range of user-created games or create and share their own games using the game creation tool called Roblox Studio. This dynamic platform has grown into a massive ecosystem since its launch in 2006, with millions of users worldwide, primarily kids and teenagers, and millions of diverse games (or experiences, as Roblox calls them), from adventure and simulation to role-playing and obstacle courses.
Roblox has gained immense popularity among kids and teens mainly because of the combination of several factors, such as its accessibility, diverse gaming options, creativity, social interaction, and ongoing updates.
This platform is like a virtual playground where kids can take on various roles or do virtually anything their imagination desires, from creating and customizing their homes in role-playing games like "Brookhaven" to building and managing businesses in tycoon games like "Restaurant Tycoon 2" to raising and caring for pets in the popular "Adopt Me."
The possibilities are limitless, making it an immersive and creative space for endless adventures but also for social interactions as kids can connect, chat, and play with their friends or make new ones. This social aspect adds another layer of excitement, turning every gaming session into a shared experience.
Yes, Roblox is free to download and play. It is also accessible on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and some gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and, as of recently, PlayStation 4 and 5).
However, while it uses a free-to-play model, Roblox also offers a virtual currency called "Robux," which players can purchase with real money and then use to get various virtual items or special features. The platform also has a monthly subscription called Roblox Premium, which enables access to extra benefits and discounts and unlocks the possibility of trading items with other users.
Roblox does not have a specific age rating in the traditional sense. Instead, it provides a content rating system that helps parents understand the nature of the games available on the platform. According to the platform's guidance, the age-based categories include games with content generally suitable for ages 9 and up, games with content generally suitable for ages 13 and up, and games with content generally suitable for all ages.
However, keep in mind that the platform heavily relies on user-generated content, so it's a good idea to check out the games your child is playing to ensure that the content is suitable for their age.
Roblox has implemented various safety features to protect its young user base, including a chat filter, reporting mechanisms, and a moderation team that actively monitors the content of the games. For example, the chat filer scans all messages and replaces all inappropriate words or sentences with symbols. The platform also enables users to report any inappropriate behavior or content. The moderation team reviews the content of the games and takes action against those that contain inappropriate material and violate community standards.
While Roblox is generally considered safe for kids, like any online platform, there are some potential risks. For example, despite the platform's moderation efforts, some inappropriate content may still get through, meaning some games may contain themes or imagery unsuitable for children.
Another challenge is the risk of online interactions with strangers. Roblox encourages social interactions through the chat features, and although most of them are positive, there's always a chance of encountering strangers with malicious intent.
Phishing attempts and scams are also a potential concern, and as a popular platform with millions of users, Roblox is not immune to them. In-game purchases and virtual currencies, such as Robux, are another consideration. The in-game items users can buy with real money can be highly tempting to kids and sometimes result in overspending or unintentional purchases. And, like many online games, Roblox can be addictive, especially for younger players, leading to excessive screen time.
Despite some potential risks, Roblox can be a safe gaming platform for young players, especially with proper parental involvement and precautions. Here's what you can do to enhance the safety of your child on Roblox:
First, familiarize yourself with Roblox's parental controls and then use them to customize settings according to your child's age and maturity. Among other things, paternal controls let you limit the content they can access, restrict who can communicate with your kid, and manage in-game purchases.
Teach your kid about the importance of not sharing personal information, being cautious about the friends they make while playing, and not clicking on suspicious links. Explain to them how to use the reporting and blocking features. If they encounter inappropriate behavior or content, they should know how to report it or block users.
Check in on your child's activities on the platform from time to time, including the games they are interested in and the friends they interact with while playing. Explore their favorite games alone, watch them play, and, if possible, play a game together with them to get a firsthand understanding of it.
Engage in conversations with your child about their gaming adventures and create an environment where your child feels comfortable sharing their experiences, both positive and negative. Let them know they can approach you with any concerns, questions, or uncomfortable situations they may encounter.
Establish clear screen time limits for gaming so you can be sure your child is not glued to the screen all the time and has time for homework, chores, physical activities, and face-to-face social interactions. Let them know when and how much time they can spend playing games. Or consider using the platform's parental control features to enforce these time limits.
In conclusion, while Roblox strives to establish a safe, creative, and enjoyable environment for its users, it's an online platform, so parental involvement also plays a role in ensuring your kid stays safe in this virtual world. By using parental controls, staying informed, setting boundaries, and encouraging open communication, you can minimize the potential risks and make Roblox even safer for your child.
Besides keeping your child safe during their online gaming adventures, don’t forget to protect the devices they use to play their favorite games. Kids do not always handle their phones, laptops, tablets, or gaming consoles with utmost care, so accidental drops, cracked screens, and liquid spills can easily happen during gaming sessions, leaving you with a hefty repair or replacement bill. See how our device insurance plans can protect you from costly device mishaps and get a free quote!