In my new position, I spend time with middle schoolers during their Recreation time. One of the things that they liked to do was play a game called Roblox. It has been decided that they are not allowed to play that game during school anymore for a couple of reasons. I have written it on the board in the Media Center and since then, several teachers have asked me what Roblox is and why it is not allowed.
The idea of Roblox is not inappropriate. Roblox is a multiplayer online game with more than 30 million players that when used appropriately can be fun and allow for creativity. Players are able to build their own games and then others can play them. The problem is that with over 30 million players, there are bound to be people who make their games using inappropriate content. There are shoot and kill games, obstacle courses, mazes, etc and while many of these games are perfectly suitable, many may not be that way. Roblox has tried to block certain content, like foul language, but there are ways to get around those blocks.
Another problem with Roblox is that there is a chat function and children can accept friend requests from strangers. Roblox did add some extra parental controls which can limit some of the online interactions that children can have, but many parents may not even realize that the controls exist and therefore, their child may be at risk of being approached by someone with bad intentions. Jesse Wineberger from Overnight Geek mentioned in her recent presentation at our schools that Roblox may be inappropriate.
With proper supervision and parental controls set up, it may be okay for students to play the game at home, but there are too many unknowns to allow students to play it while at school.