Image Credit: Roblox.com
In our previous post ‘A Parent’s Guide to Roblox’ we outlined the online gaming platform massively popular with children and young people, with around 64,000 users per month.
According to an article on the BBC website, parent Amber Peterson of Raleigh, North Carolina was shocked to notice what she described in a Facebook post as ‘her child’s avatar being gang raped’ and assaulted in the online game Roblox.’
According to Oxford Dictionaries an avatar is ‘An icon or figure representing a particular person in a video game, Internet forum, etc’. Avatar’s are common across the gaming website and social media.
According to Ms Peterson, her seven-year-old daughter was playing a game when she showed her mum the screen and asked what was happening. Ms Peterson took screen shots which showed 2 male avatars raping her daughter’s female avatar. A female avatar then jumped on her body. They ran off leaving her daughters avatar lying face down in the playground.
In her Facebook post Ms Peterson said ‘I’m struggling with where to begin here because I’m feeling quite traumatized and violated on so many levels’ She went on to say ‘Words cannot describe the shock, disgust, and guilt that I am feeling right now, but I’m trying to put those feelings aside so I can get this warning out to others as soon as possible’.
In June the Daily Mail reported, another mother in Australia found her 6 year old daughter in a Roblox ‘sex room’ with dozens of avatars having sex, after her daughter followed a ‘friend’ who was a stranger into a private room.
Youtube reveals many Roblox videos where explicit sexual content and violent scenarios such as school shootings are shown said Kidspot.
Both mothers called on Roblox to address these incidents. Roblox responded by saying they had ‘zero tolerance for this behaviour’ and that ‘they work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us’.
The above highlight the importance of parents and carers closely monitoring the content young children are viewing, while gaming.