It all started for us one afternoon at the library, when my six year old struck up a conversation with two boys who were playing a game on the computer. I had seen these two boys on the library computer A LOT but at that point, I didn’t think much of it.
When we got home, he begged to check out Roblox. It was free, looked similar to lego.com so I figured, why not.
It looked innocent enough, little lego guys walking around, doing different things. But before long, my son was ADDICTED to this site. Like, he threw fits when we told him to get off (he’s never thrown fits in his life). He started waking up earlier and earlier because he wanted to play Roblox. And every conversation he had with any friends, family, or kids he met randomly on the playground…all about Roblox.
It was weird. I mean, he’s liked a lot of things in his life, but he never obsessed.
And he got cranky! He fought with his brother more and literally transformed from a happy-go-lucky kid to unrecognizably negative and angry.
So, I looked at Roblox again. Could a game really have this big of an effect on a child? I didn’t really approve of the fighting/destruction games…but little boys have been playing cops & robbers/army/cowboys forever, right?
When I did a little more research I found that it's far from an innocent, fun game for kids. First of all, it’s an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game, meaning that tons of people all over the world are playing this game together - including whatever weirdos are lurking behind a computer wanting access to little boys. Gross. Second, it’s supposedly moderated but a quick “roblox parent review” online search will have your jaw on the floor with things people have found in this game - bad language, bullying, online dating, and inappropriate content, just to name a few. Many parents reported that the game negatively impacted their children, sounding eerily familiar to the obsession and behavior changes we saw.
That’s enough for me. I’m banning it.
I did find these three other online games that we're going to check out instead:
Listen, screen time is a part of our kids’ lives. And I’ll argue that there’s a lot of positive and educational ways to utilize computers. But Roblox is irrefutably not one of them.
PS: Know any other safe, fun websites geared towards young kids? Do tell!