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Does Roblox Vet User Submitted Games Before they’re Available on the Platform?

Roblox game with Xbox controller.

Roblox is a multiplayer game-creation platform with more than 150 million users worldwide. It combines creativity, problem-solving, and collaborative play, and can be a great alternative to Minecraft.

To give you an idea of its scale, Roblox’s revenue is projected to hit $920 million in 2020, up from $299.95 million in 2014 (Roblox Revenue and Usage Statistics 2022). The average player visits the site more than once daily, and about 44% of players are female (Roblox User and Growth Stats 2022).

However, not everything about the game is positive. Much of the content on Roblox is user-generated, which means kids can be exposed to a range of material, including sexually explicit content.

Age Appropriateness of Roblox

Kid playing Roblox in a booth.

Roblox is similar to Minecraft in that it’s an immersive, creative, multiplayer gaming environment. But where Minecraft is all about building, Roblox is all about playing. Like Minecraft, Roblox can be educational. It’s a place where kids can test their physical and mental skills while working in teams to solve problems, overcome challenges, and share the experience together.

Roblox can also be a great place to build your kids’ imagination and language skills. But Roblox is also a place where kids socialize, compete, and hang out with strangers. It’s free to download, but some in-game items and features are available for purchase. Kids can play Roblox on their computers, as well as on mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads.

As a virtual game world, Roblox offers a variety of game types, from shooting and survival horror to racing, sports, and puzzles. There are also role-playing games that let players assume unique identities. In most games, groups of players compete or collaborate, exploring diverse game zones, interacting with avatars of other players, and completing missions.

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These are some of the “games” on Roblox. As social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have done, Roblox provides many ways for players to interact with each other, including private messaging and group chat. Users can also create their own chat rooms.

Safety

Roblox game app on smartphone surrounded by gamepads.

Roblox is an immersive, interactive multiplayer game that allows kids (and adults!) to play together in engaging, three-dimensional environments. Kids can play in one of four ways:

  • Create-Your-Own-Game Mode: Create a world and invite other players. Or join others’ worlds.
  • Play-Someone-Else’s-Game Mode: Explore existing games, find a game to your liking, and join it.
  • Party Mode: Play any of the game types above with friends or with others you invite.
  • Developer Mode: Design and develop your own games by using Roblox’s powerful, easy-to-use game creation tool. With so many options, how do you know if your kids are safe on Roblox?

Roblox allows you to set a PIN for your child’s account so that you can restrict the way your kid plays the game. Roblox also gives kids the option to create a different username and password for each game, creating an extra layer of privacy between their online selves and their offline selves.

Each kid’s account can be protected with a PIN that they have to type in to change the Roblox settings. This is an effective way to safeguard an account and make sure kids only play games that are suitable for their age.

Roblox lets you know when someone you don’t know chats with your kids, pitches them a game, or invites them to a private game. When someone does this, Roblox will notify you with an in-game alert. To review these alerts, go to the Privacy Settings page and click on the “Click here to review recent player interactions” link. In the notifications that follow, click on any link to go to the game and see what’s going on.

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How Does Chat Moderation Work?

Hand holding phone against Roblox game banner.

All chat messages are automatically screened for inappropriate words. The following language is NOT allowed: pornography, nudity, hate speech, bullying, abusiveness, harassment, racism, sexism, illegal drugs, personal information, trolling, flaming, and any other words or terms identified as inappropriate. It is encouraging to know that if a word is inappropriate, it’s removed from the chat automatically.

As an extra safety measure, you may want to check out the Roblox Parental Controls app. It lets parents view their kid’s information, see what games the kid plays or has posted on their profile, and block games or contact. Anyone can install the app on Android or iOS. The app also lets you disable the account controls, so you can still surprise your kids with a cool game, or allow them to play games that you might not agree with.

If your kid has Roblox premium, they can chat with friends in most places on the site. You can disable chat on a per-game basis, and you can disable chat on the entire account if you don’t want your child to interact with other users. You can’t disable chat in Roblox chat rooms, but you can access these rooms without logging in to the site.

Suspicious Activity

Mom checking little boy's game on computer.

When you join an online community, starting with an online game, you need to be aware that you won’t often know any of the players in real life. This can make it difficult for a kid to tell who’s a predator and who’s someone they’re just not interested in becoming friends with.

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As a parent, you also need to be aware that a predator could target your child, even if they’re not trying to meet new people. Roblox does give the ability to report a user, and by doing so, you’re telling Roblox that you think the user is breaking the rules, or is a potential danger to the community.

In the end, it probably goes without saying, but you shouldn’t allow your kids to share personal information with anyone they don’t know, including their photograph or other personally identifiable information. And as with most things online, information should be considered public unless it’s posted as private.

Before you take the plunge and download the game, you can always get up to speed on the details by reviewing the site’s privacy and community rules.