Is Roblox Really Safe for Children?

Is Roblox Really Safe for Children?

From trolling to antisemitism—here are some of the key issues plaguing gaming communities.

Even before the term “metaverse” became a part of our day-to-day conversations, gamers had already been enjoying the metaverse experience. In fact, one of the first metaverses ever, Second Life, has been around since 2003. Another early adopter to the metaverse trend is the video game platform Roblox. The platform allows players to create their own games, or experiences as the company calls them. The metaverse creation tools on the platform are so easy to navigate that even children can use them. Apparently, it is too easy to use that some are taking advantage of the user-generated gaming platform to create games where problematic themes—sexual, racist, antisemitic, obscene and more—are lurking around.

The platform is, in fact,  well-loved by children, with two-thirds of children between the ages of 9 and 12 in the U.S. using it in 2020. Due to its young demographic, there is a major concern about how the platform is moderating its content to stop exposing children to problematic themes. Let’s take a closer look at the thorny, alarming problem facing Roblox and some existing measures by gaming companies to make gaming child-safe.

Problematic content and Roblox’s response to it

In February this year, news broke out that Roblox hosted Nazi experiences featuring gas chambers and dead bodies. This experience—called “Camp Concentration”—included a room where players could click the execute button and release deadly gas from showerheads. The camp also had blazing funeral pyres, death trains and avatars dressed in Nazi uniforms. 

Besides Nazi content, the platform also has reports of it harboring sex games. These sex games, also known as condos, are spaces where users can have virtual sex. The platform also reportedly hosts bondage acts, digital strippers and neo-Nazi ideological content

To Roblox’s credit, they have been actively trying to shut down all the concerning content. “We have zero tolerance for content or behaviors that promote or glorify extremism, including antisemitism. We have removed the experiences in question and banned the individuals who created them,” said the company in response to the discovery of antisemitic content on their platform.

Similarly, most sex games on the website get taken down within an hour of being created. Roblox has also banned romantic gestures on the platform, such as hand-holding and kissing. Moreover, the platform has introduced parental controls on their website so that parents can restrict their children’s access to any inappropriate content. 

Further, the platform has an age verification feature, wherein users have to submit an ID card, driver’s license or passport to use certain features, like voice chat. Users also have to submit a selfie to verify the authenticity of their ID. Roblox also has over 4,000 moderators and a content filtering algorithm.

Efforts being made to make gaming safer for children

Gaming companies have been proactive in addressing the need to ensure gamer safety, with particular concern for younger players. In 2020, three of the world’s biggest game manufacturers, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, joined hands to create a safer gaming environment. They laid out a set of safety principles that highlight prevention (promoting safety tools to prevent problematic activity), responsibility (ensuring company accountability for said activity) and partnership (cooperating with regulators and the gaming industry to advance user safety).

However, as the number of players on gaming platforms increases, it can be a challenge to track down individuals who are violating guidelines. Users consistently come up with ways to bypass the safety mechanisms within games. Roblox says that it is often hard to locate condos on their platform. No matter how many they remove, they just keep popping up again

In other games, like League of Legends, trollers hurl misspelled abuses at users to avoid text filters blocking bad language. A game development theory called “Time to Penis” (TTP) even says that every platform or game has a certain time period before users find out how to create a penis on it. 

The responsibility for creating a safe gaming environment is a bigger task than something video game developers can handle by themselves. Other concerned parties, like regulations and rating systems present today, need to be more attentive to how video games are labeled based on the amount of trolling and sexual content present in them. Moreover, parents also need to keep themselves educated about the kind of content their children are consuming. Collaborative efforts are needed to make gaming communities safe for our children. 

Header image courtesy of Pixabay


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


New to the Forex Market The Ultimate Toolkit for Success

New to the Forex Market? The Ultimate Toolkit for Success

Foreign exchange trading can be a tricky business. When it comes to choosing what tools will be the most effective in your forex trading journey, there are a few aspects to consider. Whether you are a brand-new trader or a seasoned veteran, some of these tools will always be handy to help you not only find the diamonds in the rough but also stay focused on your goals.

Looking Back on the Top Skincare Trends of 2022

Looking Back on the Top Skincare Trends of 2022

Going makeup free during the COVID-19 pandemic has whipped up interest in skincare, with people spending more on in-clinic aesthetic treatments and buying more skincare products. As of 2022, revenues in the beauty and personal care industry have reached US$534 billion. Of this, the skincare segment makes up a total revenue of US$153.30 billion, growing at a CAGR rate of 5.19% in the next five years.

Is It Ethical to Be “Overemployed”

Is It Ethical to Be “Overemployed”?

According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics of August 2022, more than 7.5 million workers in the U.S. are overemployed, that is, they hold more than one job. With the pandemic leading to an increase in remote working and making people concerned about job safety, it doesn’t take a genius to see why people would choose to work multiple jobs.

Kanye West’s Biggest Losses of 2022

Kanye West’s Biggest Losses of 2022

Singer, rapper and chaotic personality Kanye West, a.k.a. Ye, has been all over the news and the place for the past few months. What’s more? Media personality Kim Kardashian is not all that he has lost. The famous rapper has also lost his billionaire status as his over-a-decade-long relationship with Adidas ended following his antisemitic (i.e. against the Jewish community) comments on social media. Now, he is worth US$400 million.

Top 5 Covert Signs of Sexual Harassment

Top 5 Covert Signs of Sexual Harassment

One of the gravest threats to a workplace is sexual harassment. Although commonly believed to be a situation only women go through, sexual harassment can be experienced by a person of any gender or sexual orientation. According to an analysis conducted by Gapjil 119, an organization that assists with workplace abuse, eight out of ten workplace harassment victims end up facing some form of retaliation from the aggressor, like getting turned down for a promotion or threatening their job.

Are You Being Quietly Fired?

Are You Being Quietly Fired?

In a previous article, we discussed how the modern workforce is expressing their discontent with their working conditions by quiet quitting. Quiet quitting means simply doing what is expected from employees instead of being emotionally invested in the jobs and going the extra mile for companies. Now, employers have taken a page from their employees’ books and begun using quiet firing to reduce the number of workers.