Wednesday 5 May 2021

How Roblox changed my daughter's life (for the better!)

Mia had been desperate to play Roblox for ages, but for a long while I was very reluctant about letting her play. I'm not against videogames for children, but I'd read a lot of negative articles about Roblox in particular, concerned with the safety of this game for young children.

It was last September, when she went back to school and saw her friends for the first time since March, that she really started pestering to play. Lots of children in her class were playing it, and she felt like she was missing out. So I did a bit of research, found out more about the game, learned how to use the parental controls, and reluctantly set her up with an account.

But I'm so glad that I did, and it wasn't what I expected at all. She plays several different games, but they aren't at all what I was imagining. One of her favourite games is Club Roblox, and she uses this virtual world to do role play with her friends. They each have their own character, families and homes, and they play in the same way that I used to play Barbies with my friends.

They spend time beforehand planning and setting up different scenarios which they then play out in the different game locations - the school, the restaurant and so on. She doesn't play with people that she doesn't know, instead she meets her friends there so that they can play together, usually while talking to each other at the same time over Facetime. I love hearing them all chatter away while they are playing.

Roblox characters crafted from shrink plastic

Playing Roblox has also set her off on a number of different creative pursuits. She has set up a YouTube channel with her friends, publishing a steady stream of new content which they have planned out based on video ideas that they have researched and think will be popular. She makes cover screens for her videos using graphics software, and she's learning about using different keywords and descriptive text to help her videos stand out.

Her creativity has even taken her beyond the screen. This week she's been writing some amazing stories based around her characters in the game. She's made sweet little booklets filled with drawings and information about her virtual family and over the weekend she rediscovered my stash of shrink plastic, turning her drawings into little plastic figures complete with accessories.

Roblox video game characters

In particular, Roblox was a lifesaver for her during the long period of lockdown earlier this year. She was in daily contact with her friends, playing and chatting. They've been learning about sharing and being fair to each other as they set up trades for items. She's been spending time 'working' in the game to earn points so that she can buy gifts for her friends. It's definitely given her opportunities for interaction with her friends that she wouldn't have had otherwise. 

I'm really pleased that despite my reservations playing Roblox has become a really positive experience for her, and if you are wavering about your child playing Roblox then I hope that this post might help you to make a decision!

It's really important to take internet safety seriously, and when I was researching Roblox I found this website very helpful - Parents Guide to Roblox. It will help you to make sure that you've set it all up correctly and safely. In particular I think it's important to make sure that you limit the games that your child is playing to those curated by Roblox staff (information on how to do this is in the link above). We also don't allow her to add people as friends that she doesn't know in real life and we talk often about how to play videogames safely online. 

1 comment:

  1. My youngest loves Roblox and all of her friends play it. It is great for kids as long as it's used properly and monitored. x


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