Time flies when you’re having fun. Ask kids who play Roblox, and they will attest to how 10 hours seems to be too short or not enough. This is one of the reasons why this 17-year-old online multiplayer game still baffles parents to no end. Who could blame them? Ten hours is more than enough for kids to do chores, finish school tasks, bond with parents, siblings, and peers, and get some rest.
More importantly, 10 hours is too long a time for a game where kids can be exposed to the dangers of online gaming, such as harassment, scams, and catfishing. But when the kids say this is one of their ways to unwind, how do we draw the line between protecting our kids and allowing them to have fun?
To gain meaningful insight, we interviewed Xanaya, 9, and Juri, 16, to talk about this game they started playing at ages 6 and 8, respectively. They spill the beans on what parents must know about Roblox. Read on.
A lot has been said about Roblox, but when asked about what Roblox is, Xanaya was quick to answer that “it is a game for people to make new friends,” and Juri described it as “a game wherein players of any age and any ethnicity get to socialize with each other.”
Roblox can also cultivate a much deeper relationship with people they are already friends with. Juri, for instance, shared that she plays Adopt Me on Roblox with her best friend. “It’s nice because we get to talk to other people. It’s like we have a different life online. We have our own community there,” she explains. She also describes that there are games that allow players to just “chill and bond,” which is a great way of expanding one’s circle.
What sets Roblox apart from other online games is that players can also create their own games that other players can participate in. According to Xanaya, “Roblox is like a play store, but you don’t have to download any games. Instead of one game, there are a thousand games in there. Roblox helps you create and express yourself more to other people.”
Juri supports her on this by saying that players can be inspired to make a new game from existing ones, or they can create a better version of what they are playing. Just when parents think that online games downplay kids’ intelligence, Roblox proves that it can help make creative and innovative kids!
Just like in many games, Roblox allows players to create their profiles and avatars. These avatars can be dressed up however the player would like it, but it comes with an actual price. Xanaya shares that her profile is “just basic,” and “mostly just normal,” because she doesn’t have any Robux.
Robux is the game’s currency, which may be acquired from the Roblox website or through gift cards. Players may also sell their things in particular games to earn Robux, and the Robux may be used to upgrade clothing and expand games, pretty much like in real life. Earning and spending are two important life skills kids must learn early on, and Roblox helps kids learn these.
According to Xanaya, Roblox takes 70% of Robux that people give their co-players, and this is precisely how she learned taxation. Moreover, Juri shared that there are games that transition characters from teen to adult, and asks players to pay their bills and the details about their jobs, so at their young age, they were somehow welcomed to adulthood through Roblox games.
As mentioned earlier, kids can stay in Roblox for up to 10 hours or more. Juri says that “It’s a very time-consuming game, especially with what game you’re playing.” Xanaya agrees and says that when playing Roblox, the time can be dictated by who she plays with. “If it’s fun, I could play with them until 10 or 15 (hours). The average one if I’m really bored and I cannot have TikTok, I would do 5 (hours.)”
Too much screen time can have long-term effects on the eyes and posture, and these are just two of the many dangers of extended screen time on kids.
Xanaya admitted that she feels jealous at times because, in Roblox, some players can possess limited items. “Then those people are, like, ‘Look at me, I have a hundred billion Robux’ then they shove it in our face.” Due to this negative feeling, Xanaya said that she blocks those kinds of players.
She also shares that one of the “happiest things of all” is making the kids rage-quit. According to Oxford Dictionary, rage-quit means “angrily abandon an activity or pursuit that has become frustrating, especially the playing of a video game.” She “gives players karma” and makes them rage-quit, and these things make her “satisfied.”
For Juri, Roblox made her take her emotions “too personally.” When she was younger, she was scammed in the game Adopt Me. A player asked her for her pet in exchange for Robux, but when she gave her pet, the player took it, ran, and left the game. When she got scammed, she and her friend scammed others as well. When players were being mean, she would talk back and say bad words, even to children.
Also, when she was younger, she admitted to being “very childish and iyakin.” She would easily get angry when there are trolls and bullies. Like Xanaya, she would also feel jealous of players who are far richer than her in the games that she plays.
Since kids can stay in this game for a long time, Juri cautioned that it will be very easy for a young player to get influenced negatively. Despite the game’s age restrictions and security, she says that “the reality of Roblox is it can’t secure all the players. Meaning, every player can be accessible to anyone like hackers, and predators. You can lie there in Roblox.”
One of Xanaya’s favorite game in Roblox is Evade. It’s fun, according to her, and “there’s not much bad people in it.” But she’s also quick to admit that sometimes, there are trolls who do things players ask them to stop doing, but they continue doing so.
When kids play unattended, they are vulnerable to being manipulated to do things they are not supposed to do, and to being exposed to inappropriate words and content.
Murder Mystery 2 is one of the games Xanaya is also fond of playing. True to its name, one of the game’s objectives is to find and kill the Murderer, and it goes without saying that this “killing” involves “a gun.” In the real world where some kids are not even allowed to hold toys that suggest violence, the online world freely allows them to do so – and hurt and kill people that come in the way of winning the game.
Roblox, like many other online games, has its own benefits and dangers. The question now is, would parents want to risk their children of exposure to trolls, hackers, and predators in exchange for hours of fun and skill development? There are a million ways for kids to have fun and develop life skills outside Roblox. The kids have spoken. It’s time for parents to stand their ground and state their case.