Most adults haven't played ROBLOX, though most have at least heard of it since it has 64 million active monthly players. Being an uncle I've spent lots of quality time with my niece while playing ROBLOX and I would encourage more people to play with their kids or nieces and nephews. I did encounter a few things while playing with her online however that I didn’t like my neice hearing & seeing.
However I was more concerned about the ability other players had of chatting with her during gameplay. I told her to block any other player that does or says anything that she doesn’t like or makes her feel uncomfortable, and to tell me or any adult she’s with immediately so we can asses the situation and take further action if need be. I though it was a great oppurtunity to teach her a few basic safety lessons that anyone with a device with an internet connection should learn.
Recently while we were playing my neice asked me why she couldn’t block another player and I told her how thinking she made a mistake but after she said it still wasn’t letting her I asked for her iPad. She showed me which player she wanted to block, and when I tried blocking the player I was given this error message >”Sorry but you’ve blocked too many players and cannot block this user”
I couldn’t believe what I just read. Why would an online multiplayer game thats hugely popular with kids under 13 put a limit on how many people you can block? The coding language that was used to build ROBLOX wouldn’t put a limit like this automatically, so why would they have their developers include this limit?
Realizing that parents of ROBLOX players would most likely not know about this limit I sent an email to Tami bhaumik, the Vice President of Marketing & Community Safety for Roblox. Asking her these questions; >Why does Roblox put a limit on blocking other players? >What is my niece supposed to do now if another player is making her feel uncomfortable? > Why hasn’t Roblox implemented a comprehensive system of rules & ratings for content creators & players? > Why isn’t there more options when opening an account for kids so more content is available but not everything? (this is were a better rating system would help as well)
I'll be posting her reply if & when I receive it.
Roblox does provide parents with some tools and tips for being safe in their parenting guide linked below, but first I found that their TOP 5 questions don’t really give helpful information which doesn't surprise me because obviosly they wouldn’t say things that would make parents uneasy about their kids playing on their platform. So I’ve answered these two questions to the best of my abilities.
According to ESRB >Roblox is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and up for Fantasy Violence
yet its huge among kids younger than 10, the problem isn't so much ROBLOX itself but the games made by other players. However the blame is on ROBLOX because they should have a better moderation system in place.
If you aren’t the best at monitoring your kids online activity I wouldn’t recommend it but if you can keep up with their activities and be proactive then I would say its somewhat ok. The sad part is it can be a great place for kids who are interested in developing their own games by using the Roblox Studio tools they can learn game creation basics but its vastly overlooked by schools and parents.
In short Roblox can be a great place to spend time with your little ones and while some aspects might not be the best for young ones you can take it as a good chance to teach the importance of basic internet safety, a big plus is you can teach your kids how to code their own games even if you have no coding knowledge yourself its not hard to pickup a few simple skills that can help your kids find a passion for coding. It does have a long way to go though in regards of protecting their biggest audience, kids.