Roblox - The Online Gaming Platform that has Many Parents on Guard

Roblox is an online gaming platform for many user-created games. According to their website, "Roblox is the ultimate virtual universe that lets you create, share experiences with friends, and be anything you can imagine." There are gaming genres such as adventure, fighting, town, fantasy, comedy, and many others.

Roblox became more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, and currently has a whopping 70.2 million active daily users, with about 29.7 million of those being 12 years old or younger.

So what should parents know about Roblox? Is it safe?

Axis, an organization aimed to help parents navigate conversations with their kids, recently made an informational video about some of the main features and concerns of the platform.

Here are some of the key points discussed in the video.

  • How Roblox makes a Profit - Roblox makes money through in-platform purchases. Using real money, you can purchase their in-game currency, Robux. According to their website, "Robux allows you to purchase upgrades for your avatar or buy special abilities in experiences."
  • Catfishing on Roblox - Catfishing can and has happened on Roblox. Catfishing can look like someone pretending to be a child who then befriends your child. This person could be wanting them to click on a dangerous link, trying to get personal information, developing an inappropriate relationship with them on Roblox and/or luring them into chatting somewhere else online or offline.
  • Roblox on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation's Dirty Dozen List - Roblox was recently featured on the 2023 Dirty Dozen List. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, creator of the list, explains that "The Dirty Dozen List is an annual campaign calling out twelve mainstream entities for facilitating, enabling, and even profiting from sexual abuse and exploitation." The list is made as a call-to-action, so that the public can try to hold bigger corporations accountable for bad practices that are exploitative. Children have been exposed to highly sexualized content and themes on Roblox, as well as predators.

Using discernment with an online gaming platform like this is crucial. Because of its creative features and instant chat-like feature where you can talk with other people in real time, it's important to be informed and careful about the potential dangers.

Challenge: Start a conversation with your child about the types of games and platforms they use.