Roblox: 2021 Parent Guide

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Roblox: 2021 Parent Guide

February 26, 2021

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What is Roblox?

  • Roblox is a user-generated online gaming platform
  • There are two modes: playing (multiplayer environment) or creating games
  • Users create games on Roblox Studio and upload games to Roblox 
  • Users can also update “My Feed” to share what they are doing
  • After joining a new game players can add friends and chat in the chat box
  • Each player uses a customized avatar and many options cost “Robux” (bought with real money through in-app purchases)

Why should parents care?

  • Despite having parental controls, children very often interact with strangers and are still susceptible to being targeted by predators through live chats
  • Since users can create and upload games, inappropriate and graphic content can appear in any game
  • Cyberbullying is prevalent, especially the type that shames players for not spending money on their avatar
  • Due to Roblox’s auto-billing feature, many children inadvertently sign up to pay for features on a monthly basis

Login or join the SmartSocial.com membership to read more about the dangers and safety tips of Minecraft and other non-violent video games.

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Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Dangerous Social media challenges

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Table of Contents

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Roblox is one of the largest user-generated online gaming platforms for smartphones and gaming consoles. Users can create games or play games designed by others. Players can either play with their friends or join an ongoing game with strangers.

This Smart Social app guide will help parents and educators understand what Roblox is and how to help students stay safe while playing it.

Overview video for parents

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What is Roblox?

Roblox Login screenshot
  • Roblox is a user-generated online gaming platform
  • There are two modes: playing (multiplayer environment) or creating games
  • Users create games on Roblox Studio and upload games to Roblox 
  • Users can also update “My Feed” to share what they are doing
  • After joining a new game players can add friends and chat in the chat box
  • Each player uses a customized avatar and many options cost “Robux” (bought with real money through in-app purchases)

Where is Roblox available?

How to signup for Roblox

  • New users must give their date of birth, username, password, and gender when signing up
  • Roblox encourages users NOT to use their real name
  • Users under the age of 13 play in "Privacy Mode" that prohibits chatting, editing, and forum discussion
  • Roblox allows users to add their phone number, email, and other social media networks but they are not required
  • Older players can adjust their settings for who can send them messages, invite them to games, and view their inventory
  • SmartSocial recommends setting communication options to “Friends” or “No One”
  • Roblox has monthly membership options that come with various amounts of Robus and other benefits

Roblox in the news

ABC News 27: Roblox risks: hidden dangers in your child's favorite games
The biggest danger in this game, and others like it, is exposing your kids to things you may not want them to see…In fact, there are reports of children’s on-screen characters being attacked physically or sexually. ABC 27
BBC news headline: Roblox: I thought he was playing an innocent game
[A young boy’s mom] decided to check the game - and discovered he had been communicating with others on a third-party app [with an 'overlay' feature making it appear to be part of Roblox.]  BBC
The Western Weekender headline: Parents warned to stay alert as dangers lurk in online video games
One character asked [my daughter] to take her top off and another asked if she would lie down with them which she ignored until they froze her character and forced her. She reset the game and told us which I was very proud of her for doing. Mother of 11 year-old told The Western Weekender
Forbes headline: How Roblox is training the next generation of gaming entrepreneurs
Roblox has turned its tween audience into an army of fresh-faced entrepreneurs… ‘It’s almost as if we’re running American Idol for up-and-coming game developers,’ [said Roblox’s cofounder.]... The company also helps budding coders up their game. Forbes

Why should parents care?

Roblox Game Screen shot of characters
  • Despite having parental controls, children very often interact with strangers and are still susceptible to being targeted by predators through live chats
  • Since users can create and upload games, inappropriate and graphic content can appear in any game
  • Cyberbullying is prevalent, especially the type that shames players for not spending money on their avatar
  • Due to Roblox’s auto-billing feature, many children inadvertently sign up to pay for features on a monthly basis

Watch the Roblox and Minecraft Parent Safety Discussion with Josh & Beth talking about the dangers of Roblox and Minecraft for families

What can parents do?

Screen Shot of Roblox Settings add pin
  • Sit down and play Roblox with your students to understand how they play the game and build a connection with your kids by having fun together
  • Discuss safety concerns about the chat features with your kids and talk about who it is appropriate to talk with and what topics are never ok to talk to strangers about
  • Consider setting daily or weekly time limits for the game
  • Encourage your student to always talk with you, or a trusted adult, if a situation makes them uncomfortable, even online
  • Sign up for the SmartSocial.com Very Informed Parent membership to learn more about games like Roblox and more tips on how to keep your family safe online while having fun

Conclusion

While Roblox is a fun and creative way to play games with friends, parents should have an open conversation with their students about the dangers of online games like Roblox and what they can and should do if something inappropriate happens while they are playing or chatting.

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