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By Derek James
/ CBS Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS — Keeping up with your kids’ online gaming can be a multi-level challenge in itself.
Roblox is one of the world’s most popular games for kids. The cartoonish game featuring LEGO-like characters in worlds built for users, by users, is also popular with adults. That brings with it concerns about online safety as 67% of users are under the age of 16.
That has one nonprofit watchdog group issuing a new warning. And it isn’t the first time Common Sense Media has warned parents that kids could run into inappropriate content on Roblox, including violence and profanity as well as sexual and racist content.
WCCO talked with Jeff Haynes, the senior editor of video games and websites at Common Sense Media, about the dangers, and what you can do as a parent.
Roblox attempts to police itself and quickly removes dangerous content but experts warn it’s too easy for them to be reuploaded.
“The first thing, parents want to establish a parental pin to make sure their kids can’t change the settings that the parents establish. They want to make sure that they establish a baseline experience setting on Roblox appropriate to their kids age range,” Haynes said.
He also recommends communications and privacy options be set to friends-only or no communication. But those steps alone don’t guarantee your child won’t stumble into something they shouldn’t see or hear
“You as a parent, you are in many ways the ultimate parental control,” Haynes said..
All of today’s video game systems have phone apps that allow you as the parent to set content and chat settings, but you have to stay on top of it.
“If this was a kids’ playground and this was happening on a kids’ playground, it would be shut down with a matter of seconds. There would be caution tape, the police would be there, there’d be protests,” Haynes said.
Derek James anchors Saturday and Sunday evening newscasts and contributes stories during the week on “The 4.”
First published on September 19, 2022 / 4:00 PM
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