A concerned father has issued a warning to other parents and educators after his eight year old son received indecent and explicit messages from multiple strangers on the popular online game, Roblox.
Roblox is a 3D multiplayer experience starting with an avatar, a plot of virtual real estate and a tool box to start building. From there, players are free to roam a “safe, moderated place to meet, play, chat and collaborate on creative projects.” Rob lox brands itself as a way “to create adventures, play games, role-play and learn with friends.” The game is hugely popular with kids and teens, with 44 million monthly active users in December, according to the company.
The former Hull rugby player, Iain Morrison, was horrified to see messages pop up within 15 minutes of starting up his son’s iPad when he decided to check out the “seemingly innocent” game after reading an article online. The game is aimed at children between 8 and 12 years old and is dubbed as the new Minecraft but, as with many of these games, it is being used by adults attempting to meet up with children.
Whilst playing the game, he says that he was propositioned sexually multiple times.
“I was invited by other users to follow them into their homes and bedrooms, lay on top of them and imitate sexual movements. They said ‘you look cute’ and ‘you look sexy.’ It was just sickening reading all the comments that popped up. My kids were completely oblivious as to what the words and stuff meant.”
Morrison has now deleted the app from his sons (aged 8 and 11) iPad’s and has urged other parents to do the same. In response to his Facebook post, many parents have shared similar experiences, with some even posting video evidence of this in the game. Many parents believe that the app should be completely removed from a child’s device, especially if they’re very young.
However, other parents have argued that their children had never witnessed any inappropriate behaviour or propositions on the game due to disabled chat features, strong language filters, site moderation and their children having a good grasp of internet safety. There are options for your child to play Roblox in a safer way. Visit Roblox Help & Support pages to find out how to disable chat, block and report users and view history of the game.
If you do decide to keep the app on your child’s device, then be sure to talk to them about potential dangers and check their user history – maybe even sit and play the game with them regularly. We believe that the best way to protect children is to engage in open and honest discussion.
For more information on how to parent in a digital age, visit the ‘Get Help’ section on our website.