Online games offer a fascinating world to the inquisitive minds of children. But like everything else in this world, it does not come without its set of dangers. A Roblox warning for parents have surfaced after parents have reported witnessing inappropriate activity as part of the gameplay their children had been exposed to.
What is Roblox?
For the uninitiated, Roblox is a popular online gaming platform, with an estimated 64 million players using this gaming system every month. Launched in 2007, the company advertises itself as an ‘imaginative platform’ to spark the creativity of young minds.
The game focuses on unstructured play. Players hold the freedom to build and design their own games by creating characters with coloured blocks. They can also play alongside and socialise with other virtual ‘explorers’. It is said that the game is listed for age 12 and above and strict parental guidance is advised during the playing of Roblox.
Why is Roblox Warning For Parents Important?
Roblox has already overtaken the user number of popular multiplayer online game Minecraft. It is an extremely popular online game choice with more children joining after seeing their friends play and seeing its games being played on Youtube. With the increased exposure, it makes Roblox warning for parents a necessity before allowing children to explore this virtual world.
A typical Roblox gameplay which children can access via Youtube, sparking their interest. | Photo: screengrab from Youtube/ GamingWithKev
Issues have arisen in its online community, with multiple incidences reported of children’s characters being sexually assaulted, being sent sex-oriented messages, among other related messages including bullying. In the game, players are given a small amount of digital money to rent a house, as well as given the opportunity to doll up their own avatars. Children who might want to make their avatar seem cooler than it is might resort to buying additional outfits—and those who do not, might be mocked and pressurised into spending money.
And what is worrying for parents is because these incidents are happening, despite the various parental controls and privacy settings provided by Roblox.
Roblox Warning for Parents: A Parent’s Perspective
1. What is Roblox
Before deciding to open an account for your pre-teen, parents, please understand what exactly you are signing your child up for. Roblox is an online gaming platform, designed to spike the imagination of your child. The child can design his own game, in essence, his own world as well as interact with other players. This seems a very good thing. But, what guarantee do you have that the players interacting with your child are children too? What if they are adults or teenagers, intent on trying out some cruel or disgusting fantasy on your innocent child’s avatar? There is no doubt that this kind of action will have far-reaching consequences on the psyche of your child.
Photo: screengrab from Youtube / Ruben Sim
2. Privacy Settings and Chat Options
As a Roblox warning for parents, the company has insisted the game be classified as 12+. They have even provided various parental controls and privacy settings in efforts to prevent child abuse. Despite these measures being enforced, predators still find a way to influence your child. So as parents, your eyes must always be open to the possibilities.
For instance, cases have been reported of abusers making use of third-party apps to chat with gamers and in certain cases,
grooming them to send sexually explicit images of themselves. These third-party apps often have overlay features, making them look like part of Roblox and the company is not answerable in any way to incidents involving them. Also, the privacy settings become doubtful if your child is using a third-party app to chat with other gamers.
Photo: screengrab from Youtube / Jenni Simmer
3. The Unknowing Children
The most devastating aspect of child abuse through online gaming platforms is that, in many cases, the child remains unaware of exactly what is happening, but is nevertheless traumatised over the abuse.
Victims of such abuse need to go into counselling and will need the dedicated support of parents and the wider family if they are to overcome the psychological distress.
All these factors could raise many worrisome questions in the minds of parents. How are we able to protect our little one’s innocence in this tech-savvy world? How feasible is that? But at least, reading about the following Roblox warning for parents can never go awry; after all, the basic tenets are applicable to anything your child may engage in, over the internet.
Ultimately, all the privacy settings and parental vigilance is not going to fool-proof online games from child abuse. The best practice would be to train your children to enjoy outdoor games and other entertainment that does not involve the internet. That said, letting them be aware of the dangers of today’s society, both online and offline, will go a long way towards ensuring that they do not fall victim to it. And above all else, you can never be too vigilant of your child’s online activity, whether Roblox or similar online games.
It all start starts with awareness, and action.