Roblox is a multiplayer online game that serves as a platform for players to create sports and adventure for their unique avatars. It is one of the most popular online multiplayer games of which you might not have even heard as of now. The game allows its players to interact amongst themselves (avatars) via chats/messaging and within the game too.
Players can also purchase, sell, create virtual items, and play games created by others.
The site of Roblox mentions that it is meant to provide a fun, supportive, and educational space where the child’s imagination can thrive. While all this may lead you to think that it is a simple digital experience for the kids but trust me, it is ‘very dangerous,’ to say the least. Where do I even start? From encashing on the developments and upgrades to looks and fashionably sexualized costumes, it has it all.
Addiction of Game
Players often get sucked into this virtual world (not physically, relax! We are not there yet), and they try to build their homes and characters. The downgrade is all of these practical furnishings, and maintenance requires real-world money and this site will help you maintain things without cost. The curiosity and determination to make the avatar new needs players buy a variety of accessories and costumes through real money and online transactions. As of May 2020, it has 155 million monthly users worldwide.
The average number of user visits monthly by players below the age of 13 is 25.5, and for the age group of 13-17, it is 26.9 visits per month. They spend a combined total of 51.5 million hours and 32.5 million hours per month, respectively. It is number one on the list of online games played by players under 13 and ranks second for the age group from 13-17.
The Main Issue
Most online games today require players to make in-game purchases, but honestly, it is not the most significant issue -the social interaction between players regarding Roblox is. One purpose of Roblox involves players to interact with each other and have a conversation to make friends.
It has little to no control over the type of people or age limit. Even though strict chat filters can be activated to block inappropriate words, chats, and phrases, young kids and teenagers are still susceptible to being the targets of online predators.
This is not only subjected to Roblox. It is a problem with almost all online multiplayer games. Whenever such games are marketed to children, online predators take this as an opportunity to lurk.
Games like these pave the way for such offenders to lure young kids away onto other platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and in some cases, even Skype. Roblox appeals to children below 12 who may be termed as easy targets and cannot discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate requests.
The in-game experience invites players to explore the imaginary world of all kinds, and some of these are sexual. There have been complaints from several parents about the ongoings of the game. A British dad in 2017, willing to check out his son’s obsession with the game, was shocked to discover the avatars having virtual sex.
On the other hand, a North Carolina mother, Amber Peterson, seated next to her 7-year-old daughter playing Roblox was stunned to notice in time that her kid’s avatar was being sexually assaulted by three other players.
Some parents have encountered horrendous acts of sexual assaults done to their children’s avatar in the game. Some have found inappropriate behavior of the kids like not attending family gatherings and behaving violently while some found explicit messages sent through other platforms hidden throughout the game.
Online predators always find numerous ways to indulge vulnerable kids in performing heinous in-game acts like mass/school shootings and bedroom activities. Such actions impact the mental health of a child and can adversely damage his/her brain and personality permanently.
The fact is any app with a two-way interaction algorithm is going to have online predators waiting for the children to be targeted. It is the responsibility of the parent/caretaker to keep a close eye on them and their activities. As for Roblox, it has a security setting that allows parents to block outside conversations/messaging and invitations, but these precautions can always be bypassed.
Parents Require To stay Alert
Parents need to stay on their toes, lookout for ways to keep their children safe and away from such predators. There are specific ways parents can keep a check on activities and avoid kids from danger; by being aware of third-party chat apps included in the game. They are watching out for sexualized avatars and characters programmed to perform sexual acts while explaining kids the importance of leaving the game and reporting it immediately.
Being cautious of the Roblox YouTube videos, some players like to stream their gameplay on YouTube, which sometimes contains inappropriate/sexual content or violent themes. Some players also use ‘Bypassed audio’ to share inappropriate audio messages, which include racial slurs, swear words, and offensive songs that get bypassed through the 24 hours moderators. Keep the kids close while they play the game.