Is your kid or teen a Roblox fan? If Roblox is all they ever talk about these days, you are not alone. With millions of virtual experiences, Roblox has become a new social hangout. It’s a place where kids and teens meet with their friends and share adventures together. With over 40 million daily active users reported in Q1 2021, Roblox is incredibly popular globally with kids and teens in over 180 countries. But what is it? A game? A store for games? And how safe is it?
Welcome to Understanding Roblox, a blog post designed to demystify this fascinating platform for shared experiences, get you caught up on its potential benefits and risks, and help you learn the lingo. So when your kid tells you they need more Robux, you’ll know how to have a conversation with them about their online habits and help them manage their purchases.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is a platform that supports millions of user created games and experiences, from building cities to fun virtual music concerts and even scavenger hunts. The platform also offers a free immersive creation tool, Roblox Studio, which is an incredible learning tool for budding programmers, designers, and developers.
With millions of experiences in its ever evolving library, the possibilities in Roblox are endless. Ranging from simplistic to high-fidelity expansive virtual worlds, experiences on the platform are surprisingly deep and varied. One moment, your child will be powering up and throwing energy blasts in a game based on their favorite anime. Next, they’ll be going on a snowboarding expedition or exploring the set of a new Hollywood blockbuster movie. The only limit to what your child can play–and more importantly, what your child can create–is their imagination.
Roblox’s creation tools are designed to be intuitive for everyone regardless of experience in game development. In the space of just a few hours, your child can build a whole new experience to play with their friends. They can even use assets built by other players to kickstart a project and then customize it to make it their own.
Why is Roblox Good for My Child?
As stated on the platform’s website, “Roblox is more than an online entertainment platform, it’s an educational tool where the opportunities for creativity and imagination are limitless.”
Children are naturally curious and experimental. They love opportunities to leave their mark on the games they play. Customizable characters and levels are long-time staples of video games for that very reason. Roblox is the pinnacle of that concept in practice. Just by sharing different experiences, children will get ideas for what they themselves can make, allowing them to seamlessly switch between consumer and creator. Before you know it, they’ll go from storming a castle with their friends to building their own castles for their friends. Each experience and level they create will give them a sense of accomplishment.
Are there any risks?
Roblox is designed to be an incredibly safe and wholesome experience for players, especially younger ones. However, it is important that you understand some of the potential risks involved with the platform and how to discuss and manage them with your child.
As with all user-generated platforms, there is a potential for inappropriate content to be published. Roblox implements an automated system for flagging content and employs over 3,000 real-life content moderators to review content, items, and interactions between players. In addition, parents can enable Account Restrictions settings to limit play to only those experiences that are on a pre-approved list that has been verified as age appropriate by Roblox. That said, experts recommend that you sit down and create your kid or teen’s account with them, so you can review safety and privacy settings together, as well as find reporting tools so they know to report any content or behavior that makes them uncomfortable (and know they can come to you at any time to discuss it, too!). Roblox also has great resources and a blog with advice for parents and its community on how to manage digital well-being.
Interactions With Strangers
Many experiences in Roblox are multiplayer and incorporate a live chat feature. Roblox filters all text chat on the platform to block inappropriate content, including questions about personal information and instructions on how to connect on other, less restrictive third-party chat apps. Roblox’s chat features are age sensitive and even more stringent for under 13 users. The platform also doesn’t allow sharing of images or video, and its chat filter technology is updated every minute of every day to detect and block any new words or inappropriate themes. Parents can also limit or turn off chat completely and limit who can join their kids’ experiences.
That said, nothing can replace open communication with your child and internet safety awareness. This is especially true with many other 3d party chat platforms that kids and teens may want to use, many of which are designed for older audiences and have far fewer restrictions and moderation. It’s important to have regular conversations with kids and teens about interactions they have online and also to empower them with tools to report harmful content and behavior they may come across. Make sure you talk to your kids about best practices before accepting friend requests, and have them check with you before visiting a new site or downloading third-party apps.
Microtransactions (Real Money)
Part of Roblox’s revenue stream is driven via a microtransaction system using virtual currency called Robux. Robux can be spent on in-game items, avatar items, and upgrades like special powers in certain experiences. Sometimes, the coolest features in a Roblox experience can be tucked away behind a paywall. Like with all online purchases, it can be tempting for children to buy things without asking you if they have access to your credit card. Roblox does not store full billing information–for example, if users are buying Robux on their desktop directly through the platform, they have to input credit or debit card information at the point of each purchase. However, certain providers like Apple’s App Store, Google Play or PayPal, do store payment information. It’s important to make sure that your third-party provider accounts are set up to require a password for each purchase made or prevent information from being saved in browser settings (that could allow it to be reused). Make sure to check information on such settings on these third-party providers’ websites, so you can go over them before handing your child or teen your mobile device. At the time of first purchase, Roblox also displays clear warnings that the transaction involves real money and that the parent/legal guardian needs to be making the purchase, and alerts parents via email about any high spend. It’s important to take the time, however, to have a discussion with your child or teen about appropriate spending limits when they play online. Part of that conversation can include setting a monthly allowance, which can help parents control the amount of authorized purchases kids can make. For example, you can purchase gift cards which let you add a certain amount of Robux to your child’s account without the need to add credit card details. Or you could choose a monthly Robux allowance via a subscription to one of the Roblox Premium membership levels.
If your child or teen does end up making some purchases without asking you, the company will work with you to obtain refunds on unauthorized purchases.
How do I talk about Roblox?
So, now you’re ready for a real Roblox convo with your kiddie, right?. Not so fast. Because as soon as you start asking, “What were you doing in Roblox today?” Suddenly, you’re listening to your child excitedly speaking a mile a minute about their latest ‘experience,’ but you’re not really sure what they’re saying.
It’s okay. Everyone’s been there.
While a single blog post could never serve as a comprehensive guide for a platform as complex as Roblox, there are at least a few terms that can set you in the right direction:
- Experience: An Experience is just a fancy way of saying a Roblox Game. All the “games” your child plays are called Experiences.
- Robux: Already mentioned before, but worth mentioning again. Robux is Roblox’s virtual currency. They cost real money. However, if your child makes an Experience that a lot of other people play, they could start earning Robux for free.
- Avatar: The character you play as in the game. You can customize how your Avatar looks by obtaining items in the Avatar Shop. These items can either be free or cost Robux.
- Roblox vs. Roblox Studio: Roblox is the app in which you play the games. Roblox Studio is the app in which you make the games. You can download both for free from Roblox’s website. For more information on how to create Roblox games, check out the website’s guide here.
- Private Server: You can create a private server for different experiences. What this means is that you can control who can enter your game session.
- Friends: You can look up player profiles by typing their usernames into the search bar. You can add them to your “friends list.” Having someone in your friends list makes it easier to find their profile later, and allows you to admit them into “friends-only” servers.
Roblox is the perfect entry point for future programmers. Not only will your child have a ton of fun playing and building Roblox, by creating original Roblox experiences you’re laying a coding and creative foundation that your child will be able to build upon for the rest of their life.
BYJU’S FutureSchool has partnered with Roblox for portions of its curriculum. The Roblox program is not included in the free trial and is available only after successful completion of the prerequisite courses (Beginners: 23 classes; Intermediate: 20 classes; Advanced: 20 classes, Pro: 19 classes). BYJU’S FutureSchool values the sacrifices and time invested by parents in preparing their children for the future. Because of that, we offer top-quality coding and math curriculums. Feel free to look through our course catalog to find out just what we offer. Sign up for a FREE coding or math class today. It is never too late or too early to start preparing.