According to the Roblox website, ‘Roblox is the world’s largest interactive social platform for play.’ For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, it is a multi-player online gaming platform which allows children to play and create a variety of games in a 3D world. Roblox is free to play and available on all modern smartphones, tablets, desktops, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
What Parents Need to Know About Roblox
The Roblox Studio allows users to create their own games and ‘worlds’ for others to play on the platform. As the games are user generated, it gives users the freedom to potentially include things you do not want your child to be exposed to, for example, weapons, violence and even pornographic content. There are no age restrictions on the games created in the Roblox Studio and to remove games from the platform Roblox relies on people reporting negative/violent content.
CHATTING & FRIEND REQUESTS
Whilst the games in Roblox are aimed at 8- to 18-year-olds, there are currently no age restrictions for signing up. This means that both adults and young people can play and communicate with each other and send friend requests through the platform. Once a friend request is accepted, this means that they can communicate with each other outside of gameplay.
ROBUX ONLINE PAYMENTS
When a user creates a game, they earn something called ‘Robux,’ which works as a currency within the platform and enables the purchase of upgrades and memberships. If the created game is of good quality and attracts multiple players and in-game adverts, children have the ability to earn a lot of ‘Robux.’ Once a user has earned a certain amount of Robux, they can convert this to real cash and withdraw it to a PayPal account. To withdraw money, users need to be over 13, have a PayPal account and have paid for the Roblox premium subscription.
Top Tips for Parents
Tell your children to be careful and to think twice before they click any random advert or popup. There a lot of phishing scams that advertise ‘Free Robux’, etc. with the intent of stealing your child’s personal information.
UNLIST SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Make sure your child’s social media accounts are not listed in the settings/account information. If they are, advise them to set them to private or remove them from their account. This will ensure that nobody will be able to find and contact them on their social media platforms outside of Roblox.
CHECK SHARED INFORMATION
In the account settings, check that your child is not giving away any personal information in their bio/profile. For example, their full name, phone number or Snapchat name. If you see that they have, explain why this is potentially dangerous and remove immediately.
Roblox has a great two-step verification security feature which we recommend you enable to add an extra layer of security to your child’s account.
HAVE A CHAT ABOUT ‘GRIEFING’
Griefing is when someone purposely upsets another player in a game. This can be done by setting traps, damaging or stealing something from another player, intentionally killing them and generally doing something in the game to spoil their gameplay. Essentially, ‘Griefing’ is a form of cyberbullying and can be extremely frustrating and upsetting for players.
RESTRICT PAYMENT METHODS
Roblox is a free to play game, but there are still options to make additional in-game purchases. If you do not want your child to make payments, ensure your card is not associated with their account. If you are happy for your child to make payments in the game, but want to restrict spending, we suggest using a games console gift card. These can be purchased in specific amounts, which will enable you to restrict how much your child spends and removes the need for a credit/debit card to be used with their account.
DISABLE IN-GAME CHAT
Roblox is great for children to play together and chat to each other. However, if you want to completely turn off in-game chat for your child (meaning they cannot contact anyone, including their friends) you can do so by following these steps: When logged in, go to the Account Settings page by clicking on the gear icon at the top right corner of the page, then click Settings. Next, click on the Privacy tab and under ‘Who can chat with me in game?’ select ‘No one’ and this will disable in-game chat.
IS YOUR CHILD UNDER 13?
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of YouTube videos showing children how to change their age settings on Roblox, so firstly, you should talk to your child to set up some rules/an agreement. There are additional safety features for children under 13, for example having their posts and chats filtered for inappropriate content and behavior, so it is worth checking that your child has set up their account with the correct age. You can find this in their account settings.