What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a game-creation site where users design and upload their own games, as well as play other games in a multi-player environment. Some of the gameplay is advanced, and many games employ weapons. The site provides a super-safe chat mode for those under 13, as well as a parent log-in where you can oversee your child's use of the site.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- presenting to others
- following directions
- combining knowledge
- set objectives
- work to achieve goals
- multiple forms of expression
- asking questions
- using and applying technology
- digital creation
Engagement, Approach, Support
A never-ending (and continually evolving) supply of creative and fun challenges to explore. The creativity of thousands of young developers is often exciting, amusing, and inspiring.
This virtual design tool helps users craft virtual worlds and activities. However, kids are likely to learn almost as much from playing and chatting about the user-contributed games.
While there is a wiki with detailed design information, using Roblox' basic design tool can be confusing. Kids will find that they need to reach out to the active player community for help.
What's it about?
ROBLOX provides scripting tips and design elements to help budding designers create and contribute games and activities. Most games are free to play; you need to register to tweak your avatar or friend users. Roblox’s main drawbacks include inconsistency -- novice developers make the games, so quality can vary -- and you need to download an installer to play. Younger kids may also find some games a bit scary. However, parents will likely be pleased with some of the safety features, which let them monitor their child’s activity and account settings.
Is it any good?
The beauty of Roblox.com is that the site features a never-ending (and continually evolving) supply of creative and fun challenges to explore. The creativity of thousands of young developers is often exciting, amusing, and inspiring -- places range from simple obstacle courses to full cities. Unfortunately, when you get amateur developers, you also often get amateur development, occasionally resulting in rendering problems, onscreen flicker, and some extremely frustrating gameplay -- particularly when navigating mazes or jumping.
Gameplay issues aside, Roblox.com gets high marks for encouraging exploration, interaction and, above all, huge amounts of creativity in its users. By allowing kids to begin as player/explorers and evolve into experienced users and developers, this is a site that grows along with your child. Just be aware that the games can get violent.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about interacting with others while pursuing one's own goals. The site puts users in the position of choosing cooperation versus conflict in simulated real-world situations where the user needs to work with, against, or around another user in order to achieve his or her goals. Was it a good idea to jump over the other player in a rush to complete the course, or would it have been better to watch him attempt the course and let him show you the best path to choose?
What potential dangers could occur when you meet strangers online? What kind of information should you never give out about yourself to someone you don't know? Talk to your kids about protecting their privacy online.
It's easy to spend a lot of time on game sites. Help your family set limits on the amount of time spent online.