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ROBLOX


Summary

Roblox is a virtual world where creativity and ideas are at the heart of the game. Roblox is interesting because when it comes to its age range, it has been split into three rating categories: 9+, 13+, and 17+. This all depends on what age you sign up with. When you enter your birthday upon signing up for the game, you will automatically be placed in under 13 or over 13 depending on your age. You then have to provide proof such as a passport to show you are over 17 to be allowed into this category. Because of this rating system, it is really difficult to put a rating on this kind of game. HOWEVER, upon playing the game and having a good look around, you can start to see why this rating is such an issue. Even though they put these age ratings in place, it shows that a lot of the games have not been rated properly. For this reason, we think that Roblox should be played by children aged 13+ if they are unsupervised. If you can supervise your child while they are playing the game and make sure that games are appropriate for them, then the age could drop as low as 7+, but you will need to carefully watch what games they are playing in the Roblox universe. 


Roblox has become a big name in the world of online fun. Roblox is more than just a place to play games. It's a lively online community where people can not only play games but also make their own, which opens up a huge range of options. Roblox is available to play on your PC, console, mobile devices, and even in virtual reality. Kids love it for its fun colourful environment, but players need to be aware of what games they are actually signing up for. 



Gameplay

Roblox is not just one game, it is millions of different games in one area. The community is the ones who create and build these games for all to play giving a massive variety of games for all players and ages. Its main feature is that users can look through a huge library of games, including sims, adventures, obstacle courses, role-playing games, and many more. Roblox is different because it focuses on user-generated content which means that players can enjoy a wide range of experiences made by other people, or they can let their imagination run wild by making their own games. This feature encourages creativity and teamwork, letting players share their work with people all over the world no matter who they are. 



One of the most played games on Roblox is Adopt Me! This is a life simulation and virtual pet adoption game where players can explore a bright and fun world. It's all about getting and taking care of virtual pets, which can be anything from common pets like dogs and cats to strange animals. Players can change how their homes look, do different things, and talk to other players in a social setting. The game is very popular because it's fun to play, good for the whole family, and new features and events are added all the time to keep people interested.



Another popular game is Natural Disaster Survival. This game puts players in the middle of different natural disasters and challenges them to stay alive as unknown natural forces attack. The main goal is to stay alive as long as possible while the game throws earthquakes, floods, storms, volcanic eruptions, and more at the players. To get around, you need to be able to think quickly, plan your moves strategically, and be creative. Disasters happen at random, so players must be flexible and make quick choices. This makes the game more exciting and unpredictable. Natural Disaster Survival is a challenging and fun Roblox game that supports teamwork because players can work together to improve their chances of survival. As you can see the gameplay varies a lot and gamers can spend anywhere between 2 minutes to 2 hours on a game!



Education


Creativity is the name of the game! Roblox Studio, the game creation environment inside Roblox, lets you learn how to code and make games by doing them. This system lets players learn scripting, which they can then use to make their games and experiences. This exposure to coding principles helps build problem-solving skills, the ability to think logically, and a basic knowledge of how programming works. Young people who want to become developers can try new things, make changes, and see the direct effects of their code. This makes it a useful and fun way to start learning programming and also lets out some creativity!



There are so many games in Roblox, but if you look you can find some great games that help develop children’s education. For example, the Math Wall simulator is a great game to teach your child maths skills. There are different difficulties, and the game aims to break through walls by answering math questions right to get to the finish line. Duolingo has also made a game in Roblox so you can work on your language skills! You can find just about any game for your child to practice any skill that they need to work on in a fun and creative way.



Violence/ Adult Themes


Roblox has tight rules and content moderation (at least in the 17 under section) to keep the site family-friendly. However, because anyone can make a game for players to try, this means that some games available to those under 17 may include violence and adult themes. We were able to find and play some games that were rated 9+ that we think could be considered 16 years and over.



One game for example was titled “Princess Tycoon”. I was surprised when all that happened was people attacking with swords and killing each other over and over again. Although we would not consider this particular game R16, it did take us a bit back as it certainly did not seem to be a violent game given the title and the picture of princesses in pretty dresses. 



Your avatar in Roblox is completely customizable with lots to choose from! As players can also design their cosmetics to sell in the Roblox universe, there can be clothing that may not be considered age-appropriate. There is a lot of selection of “kawaii” clothing which is known for being cutesy but can also be revealing. However, the avatars are shaped quite boxy like Lego pieces so even while wearing clothing that may be inappropriate, it doesn’t always appear so.  



Some of the more age-appropriate games still did contain some violence and adult themes that you will need to be aware of. Firstly, some games contain fighting or battle aspects to them. You could hit or be hit with swords, throwing stars, and magic and can die. When the character is damaged sometimes numbers appear to represent the damage and the screen can have flashes of red (some games can contain blood). Once you die, your character drops into big Lego-like pieces. Some games contain horror elements with jump scares. These tend to be survival-based games where you have to outrun a killer chasing everyone down or similar but they are certainly there and available to players under 17. 



Monetization


Roblox is free to download so once you’re in you can have access to all the games. There is only one in-game currency called “Robux” and you will see this everywhere, even in the individual games. Robux is used to spend on cosmetics for your avatar or for in-game bonuses to help you get through or win the game. One way to obtain Robux is to buy them using your real-life money. You can spend anywhere between $10-$400 on a specific bundle or Robux! Another way is to sign up for a monthly subscription for either $10, $20, or $40 which will give you Robux each month. Otherwise, you can get Robux from earning them from the content you create yourself. It's important to be aware that Robux CAN give you an advantage in the games if you have the Robux to spend!



There is also an official merchandise and gift card tab on the home page where you spend real-life money to gain physical items.  On the home page as well, there is a trading section. Roblox Premium members can trade virtual things. You can also trade limited things, which shows how rare they are.


Safety


Roblox automatically has an automated detection feature that monitors and checks that players are wearing appropriate clothing within the avatar editor and avatar thumbnails. There is also a text chat feature in the game that can be used by players. The text chat feature can be turned off and Roblox contains features that allow players to report inappropriate chat messages or content by using the Report Abuse system. For players over 13 years old, they can customize their account privacy settings. For players aged 12 and under, there are automatic restricted settings so that they can only direct messages to users who have been added as their friends.  Language is automatically filtered also and any inappropriate words will come up as #######.



Roblox also contains parental settings which are accessible in the settings menu. Parents can limit or disable online text chat and customize access to games based on age recommendations as well as select options for spending limits for Robux. You can also choose to receive email notifications from Roblox on all spending activities so you can keep track of where your money is going. To make sure your child doesn’t change anything without you knowing, there is a parent PIN code that will be required for any changes to any of the settings.


The reason that safety can be such a concern with Robox is because of the potential of the user-generated games People can make games about anything! This means that a game could even be created about someone you know where the players treat them badly or use it in detrimental ways like this. Although this is not what all of the games do, it has happened and it is possible. There could also be games rated age-appropriate but then it really isn't at all, this we have seen several times during the game. Parents need to be aware of what specific games in Roblox their child is playing to keep them safe.



Tips and Tricks


A great way to discover games that suit your child’s interest or find some educational games is to use the help of the search bar option. This can be found at the top of the home page. You can also try browsing by category, or search for games that are similar to ones you've played previously using keywords.



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