Roblox Parent Guide: Everything You Need to Know!
“Roblox, Robux, and obbys! That’s all my kid talks about!”
If you know a child under 13, it’s unlikely that you HAVEN’T heard of Roblox. Your child may already be playing it, or begging you to let them play it. But what IS Roblox, and is it something you should worry about?
This popular app has taken the gaming world by storm and captured the attention of kids everywhere. And thanks to the pandemic, membership exploded in 2020 as over half of US kids turned to online gaming platforms to socialize and entertain themselves.
To help you learn more, we’re here to explain what Roblox is, how it’s a life skill-building opportunity for kids, what to watch out for, and more.
What is Roblox?
In a nutshell, Roblox is an online gaming and social media platform that offers millions of games to play; it’s not a game by itself, like Super Mario or Minecraft. There are millions of users worldwide, with more than half of them kids under 13. What makes it so appealing to kids is that unlike Minecraft, Fortnite or other online games, Roblox is a hub of imagination – members can not only play games, but design them for others to play in the Roblox Studio. The chunky, Lego-like characters are fun, customizable, and easy to play and build with. Kids can chat with other players all over the world, and form teams to play games together.
What kind of games are on Roblox?
Every game on Roblox is user-generated, and there are over 40 million to choose from. Here are some of the genres available:
- Action adventure
- Mining or farming
- RPG (role playing game)
Some games are played individually (solo player), while others are meant to be played with a team or other players simultaneously (co-op). Game content and storylines can range from cutesy to mature or scary, so it’s advised that parents help their kid players choose games that are appropriate for their age levels and the kinds of experiences you feel okay about.
Is Roblox free? And what is Robux?
Roblox is free to download and is available on almost every type of device: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox One, and Playstation. Many of the games are free to play with in-game purchases available, which require a currency called Robux.
Robux can be obtained in one of three ways:
- Purchase with a credit card or Robux gift card
- Design games and sell in-game experiences
- Create skins and wardrobe items and sell them in the Roblox catalog
Robux are used to purchase access to certain games or handy items that give players an advantage during gameplay. One of the most popular items to purchase with Robux are “skins,” items players use to make cosmetic changes to their playable character, or avatar. Using skins, players can change clothing, hairstyle, or add accessories, like bionic arms and wings.
There are plenty of stories of parents finding surprise Roblox charges on their credit cards, so be sure to monitor any purchases and set up parental controls within the app to prevent your child from purchasing items without your permission!
Why should I let my kids play Roblox?
Roblox is so much more than a game – it can be a learning environment that helps kids build all sorts of skills and develop their creative and intellectual muscles when used properly and with intention.
Here are some of the skills that kids learn from Roblox include:
- Financial literacy – by managing, spending, and earning Robux
- Relationship building skills – being a good friend and practicing good sportsmanship
- Problem and puzzle solving – finding solutions on your own or with others
- Coding and engineering – kids build this important technology skill through design
- Creativity – exploring, trying new things, and making games
Is Roblox Safe for Kids?
With the platform’s popularity exploding in recent years, a lot of parents question whether it’s safe for children. Reports of bullying, scams, and trash talking are prevalent on the platform, but it’s important for parents to keep in mind that this kind of behavior is present on any online platform and talk to their kids about online safety and how to be a good friend.
Since launching in 2006, Roblox has implemented many safety measures to help keep kids safe, like chat moderation, game age restrictions, and more. Resources exist to help set up parental controls and learn more about how to keep kids safe while playing Roblox.
Only you can make the decision as to whether Roblox is appropriate for your family or not. Kids love Roblox, and as parents, educators, and educational technologists, we believe many games on the platform have the potential to teach kids valuable life skills and offer lots of learning opportunities–with some caveats. Setting up parental controls, monitoring game content, and teaching your kids how to be safe online are vital to ensuring the best experience possible. You’ll also want to guide your kids to games that have more built-in learning and strengthen life skills like strategic thinking, complex problem solving and perseverance; stay tuned for a shortlist of our favorites!
Here at Kinjo, we’re passionate about helping families and kids find learning opportunities in the spaces where kids are. We hope this helped answer some of your questions about Roblox. If you still have questions about the platform and how your child can benefit from it, drop us an email or leave a comment and we’ll address them in future articles!