Since its inception in 2006, Roblox has gone from strength to strength. Originally founded by two key creators – David Baszucki and Erik Cassel – the online game creation platform has grown from a fledgling enterprise to a worldwide phenomenon that caters to over 58.8 million active users (as of Q3 2022). While the road to success has been a steady yet dominant trajectory, there have been plenty of challenges that impacted the company’s momentum and growth.
Our vision from the start was to build an entirely new category of human coexperience—nothing less than the realization of the next phase of human interaction. We imagined an online space where people from anywhere in the world could share experiences with friends, just as they would in person.
Per Harvard Business Review, David Baszucki – CEO of Roblox
With such a rapidly growing game platform, there have been some parents who have taken umbrage with Roblox, declaring it unsafe for children. The reality, however, is that with any online experience where other human beings interact with one another brings its own set of potential risks, including bullying and inappropriate behavior. Personally, of the many video games that I’ve experienced during my time in games media (over eight years now), I can safely say that Roblox is one of the safest environments for young adults to exist virtually.
Now, this is where my personal experience comes into play: I often play Roblox with my ten-year-old daughter and I’ve done so for many years. It’s been really interesting seeing her grow alongside such a young, burgeoning platform, but what truly helped to illustrate the power of Roblox was living through the recent global pandemic.
With a family stuck indoors in a modestly-sized house like ours, some of the simple day-to-day stuff could prove to be a challenge. Sure, my little one had Zoom calls with school and phone calls from family members, but the real hurdle was her lack of genuine connection with friends of her age. And that’s where Roblox came in.
Not only did Roblox become a virtual playground for her to meet her friends, but it became a doorway into another world, much akin to the cupboard into Narnia. It quickly became a part of her daily routine, and it was lovely to see her building up friendships with other like-minded youngsters actively working together to build projects in Build to Survive or climb to the top of an obstacle course together in Tower of Hell. Honestly, I can still see the smile on her face as she joyfully hatched eggs in Adopt Me or cheerfully collected companions in Pet Simulator X. Those warm, cozy feelings will forever be burned into my mind’s eye.
Fast-forward a few years and things have largely returned to normality, and this brings me to the right here, right now. We still play Roblox together as a family, and if you don’t do it, too, I urge you to give it a try.
Anecdotally, there have been times when I’ve met other parents who refuse to engage with their children in the same way. They dismiss gaming as strictly a child’s pastime, and they can’t think of anything worse than sitting down and playing a video game with their children. I mean, that’s almost another article entirely, but my core message is this: make an effort to play with your children in Roblox. Spend time with them in their virtual world. Just have fun being with them at the moment, doing something that they love, too.
I suggest this for several reasons. Not only is it a great way to connect with your kiddo, but it also helps you to get a glimpse into how they spend their time virtually. In other words, the things that we worry about most as parents – the aforementioned bullying or the inappropriate behavior – can quickly be nipped in the bud if you take a little more interest in your child’s hobby.
‘But won’t it cost me an arm and a leg?’ I hear you asking through the screen. Worry not, as Roblox is free-to-play, so it won’t cost you a dime to download it, and it’s also widely available on almost all mobile devices. There’s no reason not to give it a go!
I’m sorry if this sounds super cheesy, but Roblox has definitely helped to bring my daughter and I a little bit closer together and I respect any game that has the power to do that.
Right now, we’re busy playing a number of different, diverse offerings. Speed Draw is a wonderful art game that gives you a couple of minutes to draw simplistic things like an animal or an inanimate object like, say, a house or some cheese. At the end of the round, players vote on which piece of art they think is the best, and there’s even a little podium at the end for the top three artists. It’s pretty wholesome stuff!
Elsewhere, there’s UNOfficial, which is basically a multiplayer version of UNO but with chirpier music. In essence, it’s become a go-to for our chill-out, bedtime routine. And lastly, as a family, we’ve all got addicted to a little game called Zombie Army Simulator, which is essentially an idle auto-battler that sees you leveling up your minions and upgrading their stats.
Really, it’s just awesome playing video games with my wee whippersnapper. And if you’re a parent, I implore you to do it, too. What have you got to lose?