Advertising itself as an ‘Imagination Platform’, Roblox allows users to play and even develop online games within a community of fellow online gamers. Seemingly aimed at kids, the platform comes with a 12+ Parental Guidance rating and requires users under 18 years old to have a parent or guardian provide consent. Launched in 2007, the app now boasts 64 million monthly players with around 178 million accounts in total and can be used on Android, iOS, Xbox One, PCs and other Amazon devices.
There are three major draw cards to this platform. 1) The sheer number of games available to users to play; 2) The ability to create and develop your own game(s) that real users can then play themselves; and 3) a socialising aspect to the community where users can private message each other or ‘chat & party’.
On first glance, the platform looks like it is appealing to a younger audience. But because much of the content is user-generated there are a number of games that have adult content including borderline-pornographic graphics and the presence of guns and violence. There’s no fool-proof way to prevent younger users from viewing or participating in these games, though parents can update settings to prevent interaction between users. The platform’s creators have made a further attempt at safeguarding kids by filtering content based on age but this isn’t effective as a catch-all.
Roblux, like most other gaming or social media platforms has a lot to offer for quite a broad audience and the ability to develop your gaming and game-creation skills is a huge factor. As with anything though, if you’re a parent to a child who is using the platform, you’re best to learn as much as you can about the tools and ensure you’re keeping an eye on the interactions between your child and other users.