In the midst of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine, gamers who can’t attend protests in real life are turning to digital spaces to show their support for those suffering as a result of the conflict. The latest venue? The ultra-popular tween hit Roblox.
A dramatic increase in regional violence came about after Hamas, the Islamic political and military organization that governs the Gaza Strip, launched an all-out attack against Israel on October 7, kidnapping civilians and killing around 1,400 people. In response, Israel has been ceaselessly raining bombs down upon Gaza, the cordoned-off home to over 2 million Palestinians, nearly half of whom are children. At the time of writing, the Palestinian death toll has surpassed 5,000.
In the years since it first launched, Roblox has been accused of profiting off of child gambling, faced the ire of Kim Kardashian after an in-game, player-made experience referenced her sex tape, and been widely debated among parents as to whether or not it’s really a child-friendly game option. But now, someone has created a Roblox game that allows players to attend pro-Palestinian protests. According to the original X poster, their cousin couldn’t drive to a local protest because they are unlicensed, so they instead went to one in Roblox.
Kotaku reached out to Roblox Corporation for comment.
The replies to X and TikTok videos of the in-game protest are largely positive, with commenters saying “the kids are alright” and asking for the Roblox code so they can join. A Malaysian streamer who shared a video of themselves attending the protest was live on TikTok while I was working on this piece—when I asked for details in the comments he said that his friend built the game and thanked me for my support.
This isn’t the first time people have turned to digital spaces to take a stand—there were protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Final Fantasy XIV, and Black Lives Matter protests during the height of the covid-19 pandemic in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Elsewhere in the industry, Cult of the Lamb publisher Devolver Digital recently donated to humanitarian aid in Gaza, and Twitch streamer and political commentator Hasan Piker raised over $1 million for Palestinian relief.
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