September 29, 2022

 

Young and old can find video games a source for entertainment, education, and relaxation. And while the majority of players are adults, 75% of kids under the age of 18 are also playing video games every week, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

The Verge reported that more than half of U.S. children under the age of 16 are playing one game specifically, Roblox. And it’s very popular with kids between the ages of 9 and 12. The company told Bloomberg that two-thirds of children in that age group are participating and 120 million people are playing every month.

Roblox is a virtual universe where users can create games for others to enjoy. However, the age rating is 12+ and there are many users who are younger than that. Parents should be aware of possible dangers in real life.

Parents have concerns about online games where predators may attempt to contact their children. Roblox allows players to chat in private messages or groups with other Roblox users, but it does filter messages using automated and human monitoring. Inappropriate language, personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, and other sensitive information are not allowed. Instead, players will be shown a series of hashtags.

However, no monitoring system can be perfect so parents have the option to limit or block the feature.

First, moms & dads should open ‘Account settings’To Add their email address to their child’s account and create a PIN so they can’t change any restrictions.

Then go to Privacy>Contact Settings to determine who can chat or message your child. There are many options ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends and Users’, ‘Friends’ ‘No One’.

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Privacy also available at ‘Other Settings’To decide who can invite your child into private servers (game worlds), and who can join them.

Users under 12 years old are automatically granted higher privacy settings. For example, they can only choose between the following privacy settings: ‘Friends’Or ‘No one’Chat features

Roblox is completely free to use, but users can make in-app purchases to help them get ahead in their games. Robux is a virtual currency that creators can charge to enable users to play their games, or to purchase weapons or special abilities. The game doesn’t give parents an option of limiting in-app purchases, but most devices do. Parents should disable or limit purchasing on their devices so they aren’t shocked by a major Robux charge at the end of the month.

Minecraft is like virtual Lego play and is rated 9+. Children can create 3D worlds by exploring and building them. It can be a great way to encourage creativity, problem solving, and spark imagination.

Creative mode is for younger players and contains no violence. Survival mode allows children to create weapons and armor to defeat dangerous mobs like spiders and zombies. Adventure mode allows players the ability to download game maps made by other users.

Minecraft can be played by children alone or with other kids. There are several options for parents concerned about their children communicating with strangers through the game. In the Xbox account settings, parents can disable Chat and Multiplayer for children accounts. Go to ‘Privacy & online safety’ to decide who can see the child’s Xbox profile bio and location, as well as who can communicate with them using voice and text. You have several options ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends’You can also block or disable the features. If your children are using a website, you can also set parental controls. Nintendo Switch or a Playstation console.

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Roblox and Minecraft are great ways for kids to explore and create virtual worlds. These “sandbox” games can provide hours of entertainment and lots to discover. There are potential dangers in multiplayer games that allow players from all parts of the world to play. However, parental controls via Roblox or Minecraft should alleviate any concerns. Parents should have open and frequent conversations about online predators with their children before they allow them access to these games. Keep communication lines open so that children know what they should do in the event of a predatory situation online.

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Source: Are Roblox or Minecraft safe for children? How to use game filters

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