Since its inception in 2006, the gaming colossus Roblox has had an online gaming face all over the world. There are millions of different games which are played daily by many. A large percentage of America’s kids under 16 are hooked.
Roblox is an open socialization platform with no age, gender, or race restriction. The avatar is a crucial feature with personal affinity and vulnerability. Players, through their avatars, are open to the darker sides of human nature. Roblox players make the games a microcosm of diverse interests.
As with many gaming platforms, the interactive nature and open access of Roblox made the platform susceptible to views from players and parents, who outlined several disadvantages and drawbacks.
1. Making An Avatar On Roblox Has Disadvantages
With a motto like Play Make Learn, Roblox aims to empower, problem-solve and foster deep learning. Making an avatar is central to belonging to the Roblox online community. This spontaneous creation in this online community carries flaws, though, attached to the meaning of an avatar.
Avatars are players’ minds and imaginations, and the digital presences represent players’ physical selves in Roblox’s metaverse. The avatar is not just a digital presence but reflects a person there. In Roblox, users teleport from one game into another, moving their avatars in augmented reality. Exciting as this is, it’s an unintended drawback as kids feel attached to their avatars and vulnerable.
Like the Hindu origins of avatars, it’s as if they release their soul into these creations, and what happens to their avatar happens to them.
2. Roblox Virtual Currency Is An Addictive Quest
The Roblox-verse or the Roblox meta-verse is a digital space with real-life encounters in the games. These are created (by the players) and based on the physical world’s desires to influence and impress. However, these subtleties are not evident to younger players, which can be a drawback. Players, through their avatars, are seduced by fantasy and money that they find addictive.
To achieve success in a digital world mean more than in the physical world, especially for kids. Kids and preteens learn to spend. In a given year, Roblox earns billions of dollars from its online community by selling virtual currency to this group of online gamers.
3. Roblox Encourages Consumer Patterns
The lure of designing your online presence (the avatar) and then doing business on an online gaming platform (especially as a preteen) is enticing and even addictive. This consumer strategy by Roblox to hook kids sets up early patterns for consumer behavior that can be wasteful.
In a world where people rethink the mechanisms that drive consumer spending, an avatar that rushes around in a wasteful spending frenzy is a drawback. From an outside perspective, such patterning through gaming reinforces existing stereotypes.
4. Clothing Your Roblox Avatar Is Expensive
In the Roblox creator gaming economy, you can buy goods. Emphasis on acquiring goods as status shows how much emphasis there is to kit out an avatar. The avatars get personalized through a range of choices due to competitive spending. Your avatar’s 3-D wardrobe is bought online with virtual currency and can cost a small fortune.
You can buy goods that you don’t own in the Roblox-verse. The drawback is the re-enforcement of value systems based on spending that links to consumerism. The drive to be competitive includes styling your avatar’s height, width, or even head size. Your avatar can have (but you don’t) a Gucci bag and a Rolex watch. To buy these, you’ll need Robux or spend your money.
5. Upgrades For Roblox Upgrades Cause Tensions
Much like the real-life pressures to perform and impress, the Roblox-verse puts pressure on gaming upgrades in real life between peers and online too. Upgrading is an asset, but this can result in tensions linked to mocking and bullying online.
6. Playing Roblox Can Lead To Mocking And Bullying
As in physical life, the digital Roblox community is not free of those who tease, mock and bully. The game is fun, but there are bullies too. The drawback is that the bullying happens on the level of you making and eventually remaking your avatar. Kids get upset if told their avatars are too short or even have the wrong colors.
The openness of the online platform is a disadvantage. There are incidents in which a player’s avatar size and even the color of an avatar are mocked. Getting the avatars rigged out also puts undue pressure on the kids. Kids have been called T-bag, ‘Trash’ or ‘Noob.’ The latter referring to a player being new on the platform and not adept.
7. Social Interactions On Roblox Can Be Flawed
Roblox, from the outset, was set up to perform a social function. But as much as that’s the case, social interactions mimic those of the real world. Our norms and values show on the Roblox platform and how we interact in games. The drawback is that the Roblox-verse, primarily through one’s avatar, sets up situations that expose kids’ vulnerabilities.
A drawback is that the platform is open to all ages. There is no gender or racial prejudice, but human nature interrupts. Predators are older and could be teens too, but younger players often feel bullied and quickly ostracized. The platform can create insiders and outsiders based on the players’ avatars.
8. Roblox’s Chat Feature Moderation Can Be Better
The platform is an open forum or community for all ages. Who belongs and doesn’t is decided by this loosely defined community (which includes predators).
The drawbacks and disadvantages of such openness are similar to loosening the reigns. Like other online platforms, Roblox urges that kids do not divulge personal details. Before gaming, parents or gamers need to set privacy settings on all devices in advance. If not done, this is a drawback when it comes to Roblox.
9. Kids Roam Free On Roblox Platform
The openness of the Roblox platform to promote ideas and drive creativity and innovation is a disadvantage too. A drawback is the nature of the virtual world or meta-verse in which kids roam freely. It’s like letting a preteen walk the streets of downtown at all hours. Some games include blood, and overall it’s described as cartoon violence.
The downside is that parents have to watch the content and rely on their kids to inform them. Parents monitor open chats and keep kids’ identities safe.
10. Kids Susceptible To Online Predators On Roblox
It is difficult to safeguard kids from being vulnerable, especially to online predators. The 3-D world is generally open to this behavior, making it easier on Roblox’s open platform. The Roblox community of players is an open forum and includes most ages.
From the parents’ perspective, it is a disadvantage that Roblox relies on them or the kids to report predatory behavior on the platform. Parents usually act by blocking the game on a device. Kids often see this as a penalty, and few tell their parents.
11. Predators Can Use Roblox Chat To Lure Kids Away
A likely predator modus operandi is to lure the kids to platforms that can show their identities. Though Roblox does not divulge personal details, the platform makes it possible for kids – unsuspecting – to give away details of themselves in chats. The details can then link them to different social media platforms.
12. Kids Under 12 On Roblox Platform Can Be Vulnerable
As seen from the above, the social flaws, the chats, and the open forum of potential predators are a disadvantage for especially the Roblox players under twelve. Some are even as young as five or six. These kids – especially those between seven and nine – can easily chat and give personal details, making them vulnerable.
Young players are also vulnerable to bullying through their chosen avatar.
13. Kids On Roblox Are Open To Unsafe Imaginary Worlds
In these 3-D encounters, you are as vulnerable as your avatar is. Kids’ vulnerability includes predators on the Roblox platform, and often these are linked to the avatar they choose. A drawback is that parents (not Roblox) act and alert others on social media to potentially harmful encounters.
A mother saw the distress of her 7-year-old daughter, whose avatar was sexually assaulted in a Roblox game. Her online campaign led to parents deleting Roblox from devices. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the downside is that Roblox cannot really moderate adult content on its platform.
14. Online Protection On The Platform Has Its Flaws
Roblox depends on parental supervision to stop predatory behavior and bullying and to take actions to safeguard kids. The drawback is as Roblox is open to all ages. Still, its strength is its imaginative structure as creative and educational. The avatar mostly leaves a kid vulnerable.
Parents say predators lurk on Roblox (and other popular social platforms). Though Roblox uses human monitors and technology to weed out predators, it is a drawback. Roblox is aware that kids need protection and recommends parents turn on the restrictive contact settings. Also, parents can turn off open chats on kids’ gaming devices.
15. Parents’ Role And Actions For Roblox Not Always Clear
Parents have to act as the overseers of the bullying, mocking, and teasing on the Roblox platform. It is a drawback that Roblox is aware of but unsure of what to do. Parents as online guardians for Roblox games select suitable content. But they cannot always be there. Digital parenting, therefore, is a minefield despite Roblox marketing the platform as a family experience.