Roblox: what is it, how does it work, and is it safe for kids?
ROBLOX has become a global phenomenon since its 2006 launch, but if you thought it was just a video game, think again.
Whether you're just curious, are looking to pick it up, or have kids who play, it's wise to familiarise yourself with what you're signing up for – so strap in.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is somewhat similar to Fortnite in that it presents a virtual, online space for users to socialise in.
Fortnite includes dedicated gaming elements with its battle royale, and Save the World modes, in addition to the social Creative mode.
There's no 'Roblox game' that exists in the same way that Epic developed Fortnite as a video game before it took on a more social aspect.
Roblox is more of an 'experience', and while you can play games within it, the content is created by the users themselves.
How does Roblox work?
Described as "the Imagination Platform" by the creators, Roblox essentially offers a service that lets users develop their own games, play other people' games, and explore user-created content.
It's basically somewhere you can hang out with friends, explore virtual spaces, and play a huge array of games and content.
And if the fancy takes you, you can try your hand at making your own content, or collaborating with others to bring your vision to life.
Is Roblox safe for kids?
As with anything online, parents need to get up to speed with how to keep their kids safe, and the first thing to recognise is that Roblox is not an age-rated game; it's an online social space.
You wouldn't let your kids wander around in the real world unattended (I hope!) or without explaining how to be safe and aware of their surroundings – and the same applies here.
The onus is on you as a parent to keep your child safe online, whether it's on social media, online games, or online social spaces.
That being said, Roblox isn't the wild west. The devs have taken steps to ensure kids are as safe as possible, as detailed on the Roblox website.
There's also a dedicated section for parents that breaks Roblox down into the basics.
Some of the tools Roblox uses to ensure user safety include avatar clothing detection, to ensure everyone is wearing "appropriate attire".
Chat filters – which use a combo of software and human moderators – ensure any inappropriate content is blocked out.
As an extra precaution, users age 12 and younger will have any posts they make and chats they engage in filtered for inappropriate content and personally identifiable information.
There's also a system in place for blocking and reporting abuse. This can be used anywhere on the platform – including apps and games.
There are instructions on how to block and report abuse on the Roblox website.
Of course, you can take a more hands-on approach with the customisable parental controls.
These give you the option to limit of disable online chat, as well as restricting access to age appropriate games.
And if you want to keep an even closer eye on what's going on when your kids are roaming around in Roblox, you can monitor account activity.
I'd also recommend you read up on the parental guidance for the Talent Hub if your kids are interested in the more creative side of Roblox.
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