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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Is Roblox Good For My Child’s Creativity Or Putting Them At Risk?

Dr. Vincent Wan


Roblox is one of the latest crazes in gaming entertainment that is capturing the attention of children. Two other games come to mind when considering whether Roblox as a suitable gaming option for your child. Fortnite and Minecraft. Both Fortnite and Minecraft are fun games that kids can play together, and that you will no doubt hear about their friends playing as well. Minecraft is a world building sandbox style game where construction of worlds on your own, and with other players, is a core part of the game. Fortnite is an action shooting game where players are pit against each other to become the last surviving player. However both these games also come with risks that exist for Roblox as well.

Like Minecraft, Roblox is more about world building. This allows your kids to be creative. They are able to build their own game environments for themselves or others to take part in. They are able to create custom clothing, accessories, and skills, and even their own adventures. In this way Roblox is a little more advanced then Minecraft. The two main issues that should bring parental monitoring are the social aspect of Roblox and the ability to make in game purchases.

Both Fortnite and Minecraft also have a social chat aspect in their games which, for children, is really not a necessary part of the gaming experience. As an adult I have played games of Fortnite and been put into chat groups with children as young as 8 or 9 years old. It’s not something that I’m comfortable with, and as a parent it’s not something I’m comfortable with my children being apart of. I have a rule in my house which I apply to all these types of games. You are not to engage in social chat activities with anyone in a video game. With Roblox you are able to prevent your children from being put in a situation where someone you don’t know is talking to your child.


If you explore the content on the Roblox website you will find all the options for disabling the social chat aspect of the game from your child’s device. With any game that allows online multiplayer it is a good idea to check what settings you are able to control. As parents we are always trying to protect our children in the world while allowing them to take part in the same activities as their friends.

As for in game purchases, handle that however you prefer. On my children’s iPads I don’t allow them to make purchases without being able to pass pin codes that I set up. I ask my children to do certain chores during the week and take certain responsibilities. I might have one of the girls stack the dishwasher a couple of times a week, and ask them to clean up their rooms when they finish playing with things. When they do these things for me I might reward them with $5. I encourage them to think about things that cost more than $5 and ask them how they might save up for those things. If they choose to use their money to make an in app purchase I’ll allow it. For me it’s the same as them saving up to buy a new toy. I do talk about the value of items for both short term and long term but I’m happy for them to make their own choices about the money they earn. Not too long ago our school engaged in a fundraising activity where money raised could be exchanged for gifts.

As for Roblox, it’s a great game for getting your kids playing together nicely and getting them thinking about how to make stuff. The characters are similar in look to Lego characters and I think that draws them in a lot more. My two eldest girls often played completely random apps on their iPads, but now I see and hear them sitting down together exploring different worlds in Roblox and working together to win games and improve their characters. While I do have to monitor how long they spend on Roblox overall I do think that they are getting a lot of benefits out of the game.