Roblox A Quick Fire Safety Guide for Parents
Anyone with young kids who like to game will have heard of Roblox. It’s still one of the most popular video games today with over 150 million users worldwide, mostly amongst younger users.
Roblox studio allows users to create their own games which other people can play. You can play by yourself or with others online. Games can be played through a phone, tablet or a web browser.
Popular games at the moment are Jail Break, Pet Simulator, Brookhaven, Murder Mystery, and Piggy. There have been some scare stories about Roblox on social media and in newspapers, but children can play safely on this platform.
In the UK PEGI rates Roblox as a game suitable for 7+ but the actual Roblox gaming platform has no minimum age requirement.
You are asked for a date of birth when you register but there’s nothing to prevent an 8-year-old chancer who’s pretending to be 17.
The massive number of games available on Roblox means that some will fall into the teen/adult category. Roblox itself does check the games that are being created – for profanity and inappropriate images but games that have murder, horror and bloody themes are allowed.
Image Credit: Roblox.com
Some areas of the Roblox platform that parents should be aware of are:
‘Chat and Party’ – users can join groups and chat with almost anyone. There are filters that can be set on these chats, but opportunistic adults and curious teenagers can find ways round these.
‘In App purchases’ – Roblox is the in-game currency and can be used to buy various things such as special outfits or to play certain sections of the game.
ODers – these are online daters who join Roblox to find someone to date online. Online dating is against Roblox community guidelines but there are some player-built games on the platform specifically designed for ODers and this should be monitored by parents and avoided by children.
Parental controls can be used to make Roblox safe for younger players. Check out the Roblox website for some guidance.
Account restrictions can be set up in a user’s Roblox account which can limit the playable games to those selected by Roblox itself. To do this:
- Log in to Roblox
- Click the gear icon on the top right
- Select Settings then Security
- Enable the Account Restrictions slider.
It should be noted that setting a child’s age as under 13 doesn’t limit the games they can access.
It’s also important to ensure that the correct date of birth has been entered on a child’s account. This will trigger the appropriate safe chat with a higher level of filtering.
To moderate who your children can chat with, add your e-mail address to your child’s account through the security menu and create a secure PIN to stop settings being tampered with. Then go to the Privacy menu where you can apply restrictions to in-game chats, personal invites and more.
Roblox are introducing a ratings system to indicate age appropriateness of games after issues with potentially offensive content being reported in some games. Keep an eye out for these.
Monitor your child’s account. You can view private message and chat history, friends and followers, purchase history (transactions) and recently played games.
To Report players in a game:
- Find the Roblox symbol on the screen
- Identify the offending player
- Click on the flag icon.
- Choose a reason from the list as to why you are reporting the player.
You can also flag games that you think are inappropriate with the moderator by following the same steps – but selecting ‘game’ instead of ‘player’.
As with any platform popular with children – abusers can and will use these platforms as a first point of contact with the aim of getting children to chat privately away from the game on encrypted and ethereal (disappearing message) apps .
The best way to keep your child safe is to make time to have conversations about safe and appropriate behaviour online. Take an interest in the games they are playing, play along or watch them as they play and keep devices and consoles in shared family spaces.
Don’t forget you can now book a 1 to 1 digital parent coaching session with me. In this session we will focus on online safety risks and issues & tools & strategies to help in your home. Click Here to book a session with me.