Imagine combining the content-sharing capabilities of YouTube with the collaborative gameplay of Minecraft – that’s Roblox. It’s a vast universe of games and experiences created by users worldwide. Chances are, your child has already dabbled in Roblox, either at home or at a friend’s place, enjoying interactive multiplayer games with friends or on their own. As a parent, you might feel a bit in the dark about the games they’re playing, the people they’re playing with, and whether Roblox will cost you. Worry not! Here’s the essential information you need to understand Roblox.
What is Roblox?
Roblox has been assigned an ESRB rating of “T for Teen” with a Content Descriptor for “Diverse Content: Discretion Advised,” along with interactive elements like “Users Interact” and “In-App Purchases.” You might be unfamiliar with the Content Descriptor “Diverse Content: Discretion Advised.” Essentially, it means that Roblox offers a wide array of content, and not all of it is suitable for all ages. While Roblox lets users create and enjoy various games, some may not be appropriate for kids. To draw a comparison, consider a streaming platform like Disney+ that has content suitable for both teens and young children. It’s not a perfect analogy, as video games are a distinct medium from TV and movies, but it helps highlight the diverse content within Roblox.
What Is Roblox Studio?
Roblox Studio might seem too complex for younger kids, but it’s relatively easy for newcomers to grasp. Most importantly, it provides a digital playground for kids interested in creating their own games. Roblox Studio offers a controlled environment where kids can experiment, create, fail, try again, and ultimately succeed in making a real game! While the main goal of Roblox is to have fun, it also offers educational benefits, teaching kids the fundamentals of coding, game design, and even entrepreneurship for those who want to sell their creations. Who knows, it might even inspire a future career in STEAM!
It’s sometimes possible to earn Robux, Roblox’s in-game currency, and even real money by creating and selling content on the platform (more about Robux later). However, achieving this goal depends on creating content or experiences that attract a substantial number of users. Given the large user base and established creators, it can be challenging. Nevertheless, the practical skills learned from creating and developing unique experiences on Roblox are invaluable.
How to Ensure Safety in Roblox
Roblox actively monitors the content on its platform. Still, with millions of active users monthly, it’s crucial for you to stay engaged with your child’s Roblox activities to ensure they have appropriate experiences. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure peace of mind while your kids have fun on Roblox.
First and foremost, ensure your child’s Roblox registration includes their accurate birthdate. This enables automatic content filtering and other protective measures designed for children under 13. Since Roblox consists mainly of user-generated content, parental controls are integrated into its Account Settings, which are discussed further in the Roblox parents’ guide and FAQs.
Roblox categorizes games into four age-based groups: All Ages, 9+, 13+, and 17+. Parental settings allow you to curate the content accessible to your kids based on these age groups, using Allowed Experiences controls. You can also restrict voice chat to approved friends or disable it entirely.
Roblox allows your child to block and report disruptive players they may encounter online. Ensure your child knows how to use these features and encourage them to approach you if they encounter rude or uncomfortable individuals, no matter the circumstances. You can also create an approved friends list or disable communication entirely if your kids aren’t ready to interact with others online.
Another fundamental internet safety rule is never to share personal information or passwords online. This includes not disclosing real names, addresses, or school information to strangers. If someone insists on obtaining this information for fun, it’s best to block and report them, no exceptions.
Many parents are concerned about screen time. Luckily, the device your child uses to play Roblox includes parental control settings to manage when and how long they can play. Many devices also offer solutions to manage parental controls via a dedicated app or online portal. For instance, Apple devices have Screen Time, Google has Family Link, and Microsoft provides the Xbox Family Settings app for controlling both Windows PC and Xbox devices.
While Roblox’s parental controls are helpful, you can also set up parental controls directly on your child’s devices. These controls enable you to manage what your kids play based on ESRB ratings, control playtime, communication, and in-game purchases. Visit ParentalTools.org for detailed guides on setting up parental controls.
Where Can You Play Roblox?
Roblox is available for free on smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire devices, computers (PC and Mac), and Xbox Series X|S. There’s also a VR version for the Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest Pro, HTC Vive, and Valve Index.
How Much Does Roblox Cost?
While Roblox is free to download and play, it offers an optional in-game currency called “Robux.” Buying Robux is not necessary to enjoy the game, as many players have a blast without spending a cent. However, Robux can be used to purchase new clothing, accessories, gear, and more for your avatar, depending on the experience. You can also buy special abilities, bonus in-game content, and access to certain user-created games. Robux can be obtained in various ways, but the simplest is purchasing it. The smallest amount available is 400 Robux for $4.99, and the exchange rate gets slightly more favorable with larger purchases. Alternatively, a paid monthly subscription to Roblox Premium includes a monthly Robux deposit and various bonus features, ranging from $4.99 to $19.99 per month. Remember to set parental controls to manage your child’s spending or block it entirely.
Additional Tips for Parents
While Allowed Experiences and parental controls offer many choices, there are additional steps you can take to ensure your kids have appropriate video game experiences. Start by having a family meeting to establish household rules regarding video game play. By discussing video games openly and recognizing their positives, you set the stage for open, judgment-free conversations with your kids. It also communicates that, while you respect their love for gaming, there are boundaries the whole family must respect. Don’t forget to back up your household rules with parental controls when necessary.
For more information on household rules, parental controls, online safety tips, and other resources, visit ESRB’s Family Gaming Guide.
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