A parents introduction to Roblox


Games, Internet Safety / Saturday, March 11th, 2017

ROBLOX is a game development, publishing, and gameplay platform that allows people of all ages to create games and share them with an audience of game players. Every day, virtual explorers come to ROBLOX to create adventures, play games, role play, and learn with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3D environment.

In ROBLOX, all the 3D multiplayer experiences are created by the players themselves. Once a player has signed up and chosen their avatar, they are given their own piece of real estate along with a virtual toolbox for building. By creating cool stuff, players can earn “Robux” (their virtual currency on Roblox) to buy avatar accessories, additional skills in-game, or more tools and materials to build with.

At the time of writing, Roblox is a member under the  Kid Safe Seal Program as  KidSafe COPPA Certified.

Safety Nets

As with any decisions that you need to make regarding you children there needs to be some common sense. As far as I can see, ROBLOX does not have a recommended age for children and in fact they publicise that it is for kids and teens. Every family is different so you need to consider whether ROBLOX is right for your child.

Some of the things to be aware of is that there are 22,000,000 games plus and some of the genre’s include Horror, First Person Shooter (FPS) and Fighting. There is a way to restrict the games available by enabling account restrictions as explained below, but at the time of writing there isn’t any age rating on the games themselves. One game in particular that could cause some restless nights is Stop it, Slender! 2. Personally, just looking at the trailer scared the bejesus outta me. In saying this you should also evaluate the potential benefits as explained in the section “Is Roblox educational?“. I can see potential educational benefits in games such as Work at a Pizza PlaceLumber Tycoon 2 and Design It.

Controlled settings when user age under 12

When creating an account one of the information needed is the Birthday of the user. Now usually your internet maternal instinct kicks in and you would be hesitant to provide the birth date but in this case there is value in doing so:

  • Roblox uses a filtering system that actively filters for inappropriate chat everywhere on the site and in-game. In March 2017, more stringent chat controls were added for under 13s restricting a greater range of words and parental controls that will enable parents to shut-off chat capability.
  • While users of all ages are on this filtering system, they go a step further for users 12 and under by placing them on a more restricted chat to protect their privacy and safety.
  • When a user age 12 and under signs up on Roblox, they are automatically placed on controlled settings so that they can only directly message other users that are accepted as friends on Roblox.

The above doesn’t prevent chat in games but does prevent directly messaging other users that are accepted as friends on Roblox. There is a way of have more restrictive controls as explained further below.

Parents Email address

 The games allows users to specify a parent’s email address.  This will do the following:

  • Inform the parent that your child has created an account.
  • Parent email addresses are used for password resets if the child forgets their password.
  • The parent’s email address is only used for account management and to notify parents of changes to the user’s account access.

2 Step Verification

A security code will be sent next time you login from a new device.

  • Helps managed on which devices your child is playing Roblox

Account Pin

  • If you choose to enable the account pin you will need to enter this PIN before accessing the Settings page of Roblox in the future. This is particular useful for those tech savvy kids (which is typically all of them) who want to try to get around the control 😉

Account Restrictions

  • This account can only access Roblox curated content on the platform. Additionally, contact settings (under the Privacy page) will be set to Off. This setting is particularly useful for younger children as it will disable chat. You need to decide the level of restrictions you want to place on your child but also be aware that one of the main benefit of the game is to chat. It’s recommend to have a read through Children’s safety on the internet.
  • This doesn’t prevent searching for a game or viewing the details but it does disable the “Play” button preventing the child from accessing a game deemed inappropriate for younger children.
  • If you want to revert this change you can turn it off and then go to My Settings > Privacy and > Contact Settings and select “Default”

Steps

  1. Login to Roblox with your child’s account
  2. Click the Settings in the top right corner
  3. Under My Settings > Account Info > Account Info
    1. Parent’s Email address = <Enter your email address>
  4. Under My Settings > Account Info > Social Networks
    1. Should be “Privacy Mode” and therefore greyed out if your child is aged 12 and under
  5. Under My Settings > Security > 2 Step Verification
    1. Click On
  6. Under My Settings > Security > Account PIN
    1. Enable the “Account Pin’
  7. Under My Settings > Security > Account Settings (Refer to “Account Restrictions” above for the implications of this setting)
    1. Enable “Account Restrictions is currently enabled”

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