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      What is Roblox and will my child be safe playing it?

      If your child was once addicted to Minecraft but has now outgrown the game, chances are they have made their way on to Roblox. The game claims to be the world’s largest social platform for play with millions of players able to design their own games or join in other people’s games. It has a huge fan base which even rivals the hugely popular and heavily merchandised Minecraft.

      However, if your child has just joined the site you may be wondering what earth it is about and, most importantly, how to keep them safe while they are on Roblox. Here is everything you need to know about the game.

      What is Roblox?

      Released in 2006, Roblox is a user-generated, multi-player online social gaming platform. It’s a free game you can download and install on iPhone, iPad, Android, Amazon Fire devices, Xbox One and Windows 10 – but there are, of course, in-app purchases and also earn free Robux from so many ways. Roblox claims that over 56 million people enjoy playing on the site every month. Gamers are not only able to join games that have all been created by users but also create their own adventures. It has virtual currency, known as Robux, which can be used on the site to buy things such as cool accessories, gear, shirts or limited items.

      What happens on Roblox?

      Once you have created an account and chosen a username then you are ready to play. You can customize your avatar’s clothing and expression and if you are part of the Builders Club you can even make your own shirt or trousers and charge Robux for others to buy them. Players have their own world which they can customize and access to their own gear which includes weaponry, musical instruments, power-ups, and transport.

      Players earn badges and can sell items they’ve created for Robux or gift virtual money to users and developers. Top games on the site include Jailbreak, Work at a Pizza Place, Welcome to the town of Robloxia, Phantom Forces and Murder Mystery. 

      You can trade your limited items with other players. The Roblox app has been given a 12+ rating because it could contain: 

      1. infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence 

      2. infrequent/mild realistic violence.

      Why do children like Roblox?

      It is a creative game that allows them to make their own challenges but takes part in other people’s too. The characters look a little like a cross between Lego figures and Steve from Minecraft which they are able to adapt to their own tastes. They can interact with each other and team up on games or go solo. The catalog of clothing, accessories, and skills means you will continually be bugged to buy Robux for them to purchase their coveted items.

      Can people contact my child on Roblox?

      Yes they can but there are privacy settings and age-appropriate chat modes. All conversations, whether public or private, are filtered and people can restrict or disable chat within the account settings. Roblox filters the chats and posts of children aged 12 and under for inappropriate content and stops them from sending personal information. Under-13s can either select ‘Friends’ or ‘No one’ while older players also have additional options for who can contact them. All players can limit or block other accounts from communicating with them. 

      How can I keep my kids safe on Roblox?

      It is always a good idea to get to know what games and apps your children are playing and how they work. You can use a ‘Parent PIN’ to block your child from making changes to the account without the use of a four-digit code. Parents are also able to see the history of the account including what games etc their child has created, private message history, friends and followers as well as trading and purchasing history.

      Accounts can also use two-step verification and players can block users and report abuse. Roblox is on the board of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Extra features were introduced in March this year to enhance child safety.

      Roblox said it introduced:

      1. Parental controls that will enable parents to shut-off chat capability.

      2. Age visibility so that parents can easily determine that the settings for their kids are age-appropriate.

      3. More stringent chat controls for under 13s restricting a greater range of words.

      4.  Expansion of our moderation team for more aggressive deletion of games and content with behavior we will not tolerate.

      5. Further enhancement of our guidelines for our developer community in terms of content and experiences that are not allowed in their games.

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