If Your Kids Play Roblox, Read This!

I recently (finally!) sat down and really spent some time on Roblox with my daughters.  After spending hours on the well known gaming app, my kids had become addicted and I needed to figure out what it was all about.

In case you are not already aware of this, Roblox is a game-creation website where users design and upload their own games.  This basically means that there are thousands of games buried on the app.  As a parent I find this VERY difficult and frustrating to keep up with.  On the app they are constantly selling games and ‘Robucks (in game currency)’ to keep the children engaged and active.  My kids have asked for Robucks for their birthday, wth?!?

Talk To Your Kids

As a rule, I usually reference Common Sense Media before downloading apps to get an idea about what parents are saying about a particular movie or video game, but with Roblox – I admit – I went along with the masses (250 million downloads to date), so that my girls could play with their friends. 

Games That Disgust

Currently they are playing a game called “Broken Bones.” In this game, a player jumps off a building or cliff, depending on the number of bones they break they are paid money to ‘level up’ to a jump off a higher ledge where they have the opportunity to break more bones and make more money! As my husband put it, “What idiot made a game like this!?!?”

(Note: with parental controls, my kids did NOT have access to Broken Bones or another ridiculous game called Growing Up)

Similarly, a game called “Fashion Famous” that my girls love is a popularity contest based purely on appearances.  In this game, players dress up according to a theme and then are rated by other players and then ranked. Yuck!

There are so many others, Jailbreak, Growing Up, and so many more.

In Game Texting
This is a screenshot from Growing Up where chat rooms are disguised as phone texts.

Tips for Parental Settings

If you feel the same way I do about what I have learned, I have a few tips for you before you hand over the ipad to your child tonight:

  1. Know your child’s login and password (our kids had set up accounts using their school email addresses and forgot their own passwords which made all of this extra frustrating).
  2. For users under 13 years of age, use parental controls to enter into safe-chat mode, better yet, disable it all together.
  3. Set a 4 digit PIN that will be required anytime changes are made to the account.
  4. Adjust the security settings to only allow access to age-appropriate games only (but these standards are according the administrators, so be weary)

For more, read the Parents Ultimate Guide to Roblox and definitely see what other parents are saying on Common Sense.

Roblox’s free-and-open communication policy –including the ability for unregistered users to chat — means that your kids’ interactions can vary widely, from legitimate player engagement to potentially risky involvement with predatory users.  ~ Common Sense Media

The Takeaway

If I could do it all over again, I would not have downloaded it, here is why:

  1. It is highly addictive, 10 out of 10 times when I ask my kids what they want to do, they say Roblox.
  2. The parental controls are just OK, you can in some cases block the chat features, but that does not mean that you can control the content that they are exposed to.
  3. I can’t keep up! I try it be a diligent parent, but with so much content on the app, it’s just too much!

This summer my girls were gifted a Nintendo Switch and suddenly Mario Cart and Just Dance aren’t looking so bad.  For now, I have deleted Roblox from their ipads and my life (much to their dismay).

Read more about the Hidden Dangers of Roblox on WebSafety here.

Bottom line is keep your kids offline for as long as you can!

Let me know your thoughts on this.  I feel helpless in this fast paced world of video games.  I really prefer to revolve my life around a dozen or so ‘known’ things like board games, family friendly movies and tv shows, and of course getting into nature.

I cannot stress enough how much I love resources like Common Sense Media for things like this.  I acknowledge that our kids are exposed to so much already on and off the computer, in and out of the classroom, but I don’t want them to ever see ‘broken bones’ as a good thing.

** Please note that not everything on Roblox is bad, you just need to keep a close eye on what games your child is playing.**

Rules as stated in a game called Gymnast Gymnastics

Thanks for reading,

Your Chick,