What Parents need to know about ROBLOX

As parents, we have a strong desire to see our children learn new skills, to flex their intellectual muscles and to stretch their imaginations. However, when we think about these we don’t often align those ideals with gaming

Enter Roblox. Roblox is quite a fresh idea in that it allows players not only to consume by logging in to play the games, but also create games to share with other players. Players can create their own avatars and immerse themselves into a 3D world designed from their imagination. The game includes an online currency termed “Robux” which players need to trade in real world cash for , but Robux will allow them to purchase additional clothes or accessories for their avatar or even to unlock certain games.

However, it is also important to note the social feature that comes with the platform including filtered messaging and in-game chats. But while the age restriction sits at 13+.. as a parent, you need to know as much as you can about this game your child might be too attached to. So let’s take a closer look…

Roblox Studio

Roblox studio is where the creative juices flow. Here, players create their own worlds as they design games literally from the ground up. However, although the build can grow some developmental skills and give players some freedom, there is also the potential for weapons, bad language, violence or even pornographic content that you may not want your child to be exposed to, no matter their age.

Roblox can rely on reporting to remove the games from the platform for an awareness of what your child is doing on Roblox is important. By reporting dodgy content, you could be the parent that stops another child from seeing something undesirable.

Online Interactions

Once a friend request has been made, chatting with other players can be done either via voice or a written text. Parents may want to restrict and monitor these interactions and can do so by adjusting the settings of the account as follows:

  • Log in to roblox.com
  • Click the Gear icon top right
  • Select Settings, then Privacy
  • Restrict interactions through Content Settings and Other Settings.

However, it is important to note that this does not disable friend requests and so players are still able to reach out to each other.

Robux

Income earned from gaming is a concept that is growing rapidly. All it takes is a trip to youtube gaming land to see that there are plenty of people out there that are using gaming as a means to earn real world income. Roblox is somewhat different in that players don’t earn real world money, but rather Robux, the currency used on the platform. While players could just purchase this currency to enjoy more of the game, they also have the opportunity to earn Robux. Should a player create a good quality game that grows in popularity and draws more in- game advertising, kids have the potential to earn a lot of Robux, which is then spent on Roblox upgrades and accessories, and so the cycle continues.

Underage players have been known to abuse parent credit cards to purchase more Robux, so ensure you are tracking and password protecting your cards

So what real world money does Robux cost?

The smallest purchase you can make is 400 Robux for R73, 51 but the exchange rate is better if you decide to buy more.

Players can also purchase a subscription in the Builders club membership program:

  • Classic costs R88,36 per month or R 860,55 annually.
  • Turbo costs R 117,46 per month or R1276,35 annually and
  • Outrageous costs R296,26 per month or R1929,75 annually.

Risk to Kids

Social interaction is both one of the biggest drawcards and biggest risks to any online game and Roblox is no exception. Players wonder around the online world and stop to speak with other players through the chat feature. While children chatting to each other seems innocent enough, there is little to no control over the age and types of people playing the game and so 10 year old Maggie could very easily be chatting to 40 year old “Joe” whom she thinks is 12 year old Mike. Imaginary worlds created by people like “Joe” may well include situations that are sexual or violent in nature.

Strict chat filters can and should be activated which will block certain words and phrases to protect children, however, online predators are smart. We would encourage parents to only allow younger children to play Roblox out in the lounge where parents can keep an eye on the conversation and to foster an open relationship with children by encouraging them to speak up should they experience anything that makes them scared or uncomfortable.

Curated Lists

Roblox really does have the potential to be a wonderful learning curve and creative outlet for players, however, younger players need to be safeguarded. Parents can limit games available to their children by creating a curated list. To do so, go to settings >enable account restrictions. By giving them an appropriate list, they still have the freedom to choose but from a set of safe and appropriate options.

Monitoring your child’s account

While you would hope that your child will be open and honest about what they are doing online and adhere to your guidelines… it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on their account. While logged in you can view certain histories from their related sections]. To check up on each of these items, head on over to the appropriate tab or page in brackets

  • Direct and small group chat (Chat & Party feature >lower right corner of the apps)
  • Private message (Messages tab)
  • Friends and followers (Friends tab)
  • Virtual item purchase and trade history (My Transactions tab, available on browser only)
  • Creations such as games, items, sounds etc (Create tab, available on browser only)
  • Recently played games (Home > Keep Playing or My Recent)

Keeping safe

The best way to safeguard your children is to teach them to be safe themselves. Remind your children not to speak to strangers online or to give out personal information. Rather than simply laying down the law, give them some insight into why it is not ok to accept private or direct messages from people they don’t know. Make sure they understand that you trust and respect them and want to hear about their game. If they think you are indifferent to the game or will be mad them if they get into a sticky situation, then they are unlikely to come to you if they see something that makes them scared or uncomfortable.

Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.

For more information on how to keep yourself, your business and your family safe online follow Cyber Angels SA on any of our Social Media channels. For any information regarding Cyberlinx Security services, please go to our website www.cyberlinx.co.za

Written by: CandiceBoucher