My kid can’t get enough of this open-world game. But do I need to be wary of explicit content on Roblox hidden within this seemingly-innocent video game?
As parents, we constantly worry about what our kids might be exposed to online. On YouTube, for example, kids can start by watching a silly video about new toys or a favorite cartoon character, and then a few clicks on the “related” videos on the right hand side of the screen can lead them down a rabbit hole of explicit content. My kids discovered lewd content this way without much effort, simply by clicking through content that started off as innocent and quickly went awry. My oldest refers to this experience as “the reason YouTube is banned in my household” with a large accompanying eye roll.
While YouTube has been banned in my house for a year (although we do still allow the use of YouTube Kids), I know there are still plenty of ways in which explicit content can find my kids. Although popular-with-kids sites such as Discord claim to aggressively target inappropriate content, I read an article recently that described the process of targeting and eliminating lewd content that pops up as playing a game of Whack-a-Mole. So, basically, it’s nearly impossible to truly beat lewd content and it can be exhausting even trying.
Inappropriate content in Roblox
Does inappropriate content pop up in Roblox?
My middle daughter has played Roblox regularly since the early days of the pandemic, citing it as her favorite video game by far. She loves to whittle away an afternoon by chatting with her friends via Messenger Kids as they run around onscreen dressing their avatars, building their houses and playing games such as Piggy. For as much time as she’s spent on Roblox (I’m not sure I even want to know how big that number would be in hours), she has never once come to be and expressed concern about inappropriate content on Roblox.
Still, according to a BBC article, it is possible, albeit rare, to stumble upon lewd content in Roblox. The article states that, within the game, some players create rooms called “condo games” where explicit conversations and activities have been known to take place. Avatars may be nude, inappropriate words may be used and lewd acts may even be acted out on screen. These games or rooms openly violate the Roblox terms you agree to when you sign up for an account to play the game, but the users who create these chat rooms seem unmoved by the fact that they are violating the terms of agreement.
How likely is it that my kiddo will stumble upon lewd content while playing Roblox?
Although it’s a bit unclear how many kids are playing Roblox daily right now, it is estimated that almost one million people around the world are active on Roblox daily. According to this article, during the pandemic, nearly half of all kids in the US between 9 and 12 were playing Roblox every week. Let those numbers sink in…
When you think about the sheer number of kids who are playing Roblox regularly, the fact that explicit content is getting posted on the site becomes incredibly worrisome. However, experts say that it is extremely rare for kids to stumble upon this content accidentally. While it can happen, it likely won’t. These chatrooms and condo games must be searched for and discovered (and you have to know what you are looking for to even be able to search for it), so, in all likelihood, anyone who found explicit content went looking for it. Moreover, Roblox is constantly on the lookout for inappropriate content and is quick to remove it once located. All things considered, it is incredibly unlikely your child will be accidentally exposed to explicit content on Roblox.
Phew. So I don’t need to worry about explicit content on Roblox?
It seems incredibly unlikely that your child will accidentally tumble across lewd content on Roblox. However, it once seemed incredibly unlikely that Queen Elizabeth would ever become Queen and 70 years later…
As with any game connected to the internet, there is always risk involved. There is a risk that your child will talk to someone they shouldn’t or come across content you’d rather they not. The risks for any game are never zero, but you can get them as close as possible to zero risk by enabling parent controls, monitoring their gaming as much as you are able and asking them regular questions about what they are doing online. And, if they do stumble about explicit content in Roblox, or any game, engage in an open conversation with your child to help them understand and process what they’ve seen. And if you think your child may have sought out inappropriate content on Roblox, here is a great resource to help navigate through that.
We are all doing the best we can parenting in the digital age. Keep it up!