Roblox

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Roblox Website Poster Image
Popular with kids
Game creator can nurture skills; games, chat may be violent.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1147 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 2698 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about designing virtual worlds and games. Talking to other users could help kids build teamwork and communication skills. Roblox has a lot of potential; it provides a flexible, imaginative environment where kids can create and explore, and the drag-and-drop tool could help them obtain design experience. Because the directions are housed on a separate site, though, the design tool isn't extremely easy to figure out, which may limit the amount of practical knowledge kids obtain. Adding a tutorial or site-provided feedback, such as a chat option to ask design-related questions, would ensure kids understand how to use the site.

 

Positive Messages

Positive social interaction is encouraged and reinforced by users' generally favorable critiques of others' game designs.

Violence

Use of cartoony weapons in certain worlds. Roblox's information for parents says that all uploaded images, video, and audio files are reviewed by moderators before being allowed on the site, but at least one user reported that she's seen characters "rape" other characters, and videos of avatar sexual assaults occurring on the site can be found on YouTube. Sexual acts aren't visually shown, but the surrounding dialogue and images of characters being held against their will are reminiscent of this violent abuse.

Sex

See "Violence" for content related to abusive sexual content.

Language

Although the company claims to monitor and prevent inappropriate language with safe chat, users have reported open rooms and games that can expose players to inappropriate comments.

Consumerism

Players use a currency called Robux and can buy packages for $4.95 to $199.95. They'll need to buy a Builders Club membership for additional privileges, such as removing ads from the experience and getting daily Robux; subscriptions cost $5.95 to $19.95 a month, or $57.95 to $129.95 annually.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Roblox is a game-creation website where users design and upload their own games -- and play ones other people have created -- in a multiplayer environment. The site offers a safe-chat mode for those under 13, and parents can restrict their child's chatting capabilities. Roblox's free-and-open communication policy --including the ability for unregistered users to chat -- means that your kids' interactions can vary widely, from legitimate player engagement to potentially risky involvement with predatory users. We recommend parents disable the chat functionality as a protective measure when parents can't supervise kids' play. We also recommend that parents set a four-digit PIN code that will be required to make any changes to their child's account, preventing kids from giving themselves broader access, and change the security settings to only allow kids to access a curated list of age-appropriate games. There have been reports of users thwarting the chat and exchanging inappropriate/predatory messages with young players; some kids have also been exploited by predators through the site. Despite Roblox's efforts at policing itself, including human moderators, digital-civility rules, and other measures, it’s dogged by users with bad intentions, both on the site and off, such as on YouTube, where users upload inappropriate Roblox game clips.Kids can obtain Robux, the in-game currency, by selling game passes, which give players special perks and abilities in games; signing up for a paid Builders Club subscription, which also allows you to sell shirts and other items for a profit; or by purchasing them with real money.  As always, it's a good idea to read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information (or your kids') is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter; and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change. Parents who have additional concerns about Roblox should check out our Ultimate Guide to Roblox.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byculinwino3000 June 17, 2010
Adult Written byBeetleFrustration October 16, 2015

It's a learning experience- If your kids can handle it.

There are pros and cons to this site. First of all, if you're thinking since it downloads software it downloads malware, you're wrong. It's a saf... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byway245 June 14, 2010

For Any Age

I love this website. You can go onto games and fight or play minigames or anything. The violence is not bad, you can use rockets/bombs/paintball guns/bouncey ba... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bywerened4868 January 13, 2014

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE ON ROBLOX

Hi, I've been with Roblox almost when they started so I have some good first hand experience along with how to keep your child safe on the Roblox

TIP 1: M... Continue reading

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 once you register and download an installer, and there are plenty to check out. Users can also chat with and friend each other and post on message boards. The games can be inconsistent -- novice developers make them, so quality can vary -- and younger kids may find some a bit scary. Safety features allow parents to limit some of kids' chat and other features by changing their account settings.

Is it any good?

The beauty of this creativity-based website is that it features a never-ending (and continually evolving) supply of creative and fun challenges to explore. On Roblox, thousands of young developers provide often exciting, amusing, and inspiring designs -- places range from simple obstacle courses to full cities. Unfortunately, though, because many contributors are amateur developers, kids may come across rendering problems, on-screen flicker, and some extremely frustrating gameplay, particularly when you're navigating mazes or jumping. Users can also potentially encounter inappropriate content (many users have reported problematic interactions with strangers).

Roblox gets high marks for encouraging exploration, interaction, and, above all, huge amounts of creativity in its users. Kids can theoretically begin as player/explorers and evolve into experienced users and developers. In addition, popular titles could potentially result in young designers making some cash off their inventions. Just be aware that some games they play may be violent, depending on what a creator has placed into a particular experience. And although the site says it proactively filters inappropriate content, a fairly well-publicized 2018 incident in which a user said her 7-year-old daughter's avatar was "gang raped" on a playground -- along with the fact that Roblox "rape scenes" can be found on YouTube -- suggests some extremely iffy stuff may make it through; so parents will likely want to supervise their child's site use to make sure they're only viewing safe content, and not interacting with strangers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about interacting with others in Roblox while pursuing your own goals. Is it OK to allow other players to complete the course, or is it better to watch them try it and let them show you the best path to choose?

  • What potential dangers can occur when you interact with 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.

  • If kids happen to see something iffy/upsetting online, how should they react? Discuss potential reactions, such as telling a parent or trusted adult.

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, presenting to others
    Arts: drawing, playing
  • Skills: Creativity: combining knowledge, imagination
    Self-Direction: goal-setting, set objectives, work to achieve goals
    Communication: asking questions, multiple forms of expression
    Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
  • Genre: Gaming
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free
  • Last updated: November 14, 2019

For kids who love creativity

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