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Is Roblox Safe for Kids?

Every generation has a classic movie franchise, an episodic TV show, or a game that sets a new standard for what’s to come. For the current generation of young people, Roblox is that thing, with over 200 million active users, mostly under 16.

Let’s talk about the fundamentals of Roblox for kids, some potential issues facing parents, and how you can create a safe, child-friendly Roblox environment for your youngest family members without having to monitor and negotiate constantly.

Roblox is Safe – With the Right Precautions in Place

All in all, we can say with confidence that Roblox is a kid-friendly game and one of the better applications that you kids can use if they show an interest in gaming, tech, engineering, and socializing in online settings.

However, like all things in the digital world, that statement comes with some caveats. Parents need to acknowledge these possible concerns and use our recommended techniques to combat the dangers of this app and others.

Roblox Explained

Unlike many popular video games that focus on shooting, sports, and puzzles, Roblox is a gaming category of its own.

Parents should know the basics about Roblox and why this matters when talking about safety, security, and parental controls.

Premise

The point of Roblox is to play how you want, as the player (or avatar) you want to be. Therefore, everyone has a slightly different experience playing Roblox, and that’s part of the appeal.

Not only is it a video game in the traditional sense with objectives and friendly competition, but Roblox is also a living, breathing world, making it much more compelling for kids as they build avatars and engage in a virtual environment.

Some categorize Roblox as a massive multiplayer online game (MMO), while others call it a game creation system (GCS).

Kids have the opportunity to connect with others, build environments and games of their own, and live a so-called “second life” complete with groups of friends, homes, purchases, and a wide range of activities to pursue in-game.

What Makes Roblox Different?

Roblox is set apart from other games under its open-ended nature and the ability for players to construct their own environments and gameplay loops.

Roblox has a huge social component that also makes it different from other games that focus on a specific type of gameplay or set of objectives.

While kids might play a soccer or racing video game to score virtual goals or drive virtual cars, Roblox exists as a broad ecosystem in which many users simply go to “hang out” online, similar to a chat room with visual elements and a 3D world to explore.

Roblox also has a full-featured in-game economy with its own currency and real-world vendors ranging from Nike and Apple to Gucci and others.

Mobile Gaming Factor

Remember when video games were massive cabinets that couldn’t be moved an inch from their location at the arcade? Nowadays, games like Roblox can be played anywhere, anytime, thanks to mobile gaming powered by WiFi connectivity.

This is something for parents to acknowledge as we start talking about the safety concerns that come with Roblox and other games.

It’s not just about setting restrictions on game consoles but also limiting the use of mobile gaming services as well. This could require different tactics and network-level solutions that we’ll explore shortly.

Roblox Safety Concerns

Roblox seems fairly harmless on the surface, and for the most part, it is.

Still, a few issues may arise with Roblox for kids if they are spending a lot of time in the digital world, so here are the top points that parents should keep in mind.

Age-Appropriate Content

When kids open the Roblox app, they have the option to jump into any of the thousands of different environments created by the company and users around the world.

And while the app does a decent job of filtering these experiences by the age settings in the start menu, there is bound to be some content that slips past the filters.

Parents have reported kids encountering violent content in Roblox, in addition to sexual or pornographic content, despite having filters in place.

Kids may not even need to seek this content out since it could be recommended by the game’s algorithm and be center stage when the app is started up.

Again, these are rare instances, and Roblox has strong controls that instantly delete and revise these recommendations. Still, it’s something that parents should know about when they allow kids to play Roblox.

Social Environments

Since Roblox is a social experience, many parents and children encounter issues with the software.
Roblox has chat features that allow users to communicate via the app, and despite content filters for these conversations, there is still the threat of inappropriate language, cyberbullying, and other issues common in online experiences generally.

And even though the majority of Roblox are children, predators still may try to use the app as a way to make their way into spaces with young people and do any number of harmful activities.

Parents need to acknowledge that games like Roblox are quite similar to platforms like Facebook or other social media environments.

Kids should fully understand how to deal with strangers online before jumping into Roblox and be encouraged to stay within familiar online environments with people they already know and trust as friends from real life.

Spending Money

Many parents have been spooked by stories about gaming economies and children getting carried away with credit cards linked to the games, unknowingly going on spending sprees.

Since so much of Roblox is driven by its in-game economy, this is definitely a concern, but parents can take some pretty simple measures to keep things under control.

If parents take this opportunity to teach kids about money management, they can instill some valuable lessons and make Roblox a learning experience as well as a fun online game.

Screen Time and Addiction

Like Fortnite, Netflix, and all the other apps that take up our kids’ time, Roblox is definitely a game that can make the hours melt away.

Parents should be aware of how long kids spend on the app each day and each week, ensuring that time in-game doesn’t detract from real-life responsibilities like socialization, family time, homework, chores, and others.

Generally, this is a broader problem in the digital parenting world, and parents should come up with a unique approach to managing screen time that works for their families without causing unneeded conflict.

Parental Controls in Roblox

Need some extra assurance when setting up Roblox for your kids?
The app has several great parental controls features built-in, so you don’t need to go far to curate content and make the experience safer for the younger members of your family.

Set Up Filters

Even if your kids have the tech know-how to set up their own accounts on Roblox, we suggest that parents create accounts for children along with passwords that only the adults know.

This ensures that any age-restricted features stay in place, along with controls over language filters, content preferences, and other privacy settings that will be key to a safe and secure experience for kids.

Monitor Account Activity

Parents will want to check in on their kids’ Roblox accounts every so often to ensure that everything is safe and age-appropriate.

This means going through chats, monitoring friends and followers, browsing virtual item purchases, and just generally tracking play patterns to catch any red flags.

Reporting, Warnings, and More

Since kids will usually stay quiet when they encounter inappropriate content, it’s up to parents to flag this unwanted content with reports and make sure they don’t appear again.

Roblox takes these reports seriously, so use them to your advantage when needed.

How Parents Can Make Roblox (and Online Gaming) Even Safer

The controls that come standard with Roblox are a good starting point, but that won’t be enough for families with broader digital parenting concerns on their hands.

Parents will want to invest in network-level parental controls that give them even more insight and power over what makes its way onto kids’ devices within Roblox and beyond.

Cybersecurity is another issue that needs to be addressed in the online gaming sphere, plus social media, email, and all other digital settings. The best router-based controls also come with security features to strengthen any gaps in the network.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a parent in the modern world, you already know all about Roblox and just how immersive it can be for kids.

You may find yourself at odds with the appeal of Roblox for your kids, which is ever-present and linked to social pressures as well.

Roblox isn’t necessarily negative, of course, and many parents find it to be one of the better, safer forms of entertainment for kids. However, some concerns come with parents’ games on their radar moving forward.

Visit Gryphon Connect for more information on online safety.

 

Sources:
What Parents Need to Know About Roblox | FOSI
Parents’ Guide to Roblox | Internet Matters
Roblox Parental Controls | Connect Safely

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