In this photo illustration, the Roblox logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
If you have children in your home or anyone who enjoys playing computer games, you may have heard of Roblox — the online gaming platform that’s grown in popularity in recent years.
The platform allows people to play an infinite number of games designed by other users, and to even create their own games using Roblox's game-developing tool, Roblox Studio. Once a person signs up, they can play games, build them, and chat with others for free.
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Creators can even earn revenue by charging people to play their games and by offering in-game purchases — usually needed to get ahead in the game, according to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that funds research and advocates for child-friendly policies and laws.
These in-game purchases can be made through Roblox’s virtual currency called "Robux."
If your kid is serious about Roblox, this virtual currency can be used for a range of things on the platform. Here’s what to know if your kid has Robux on their Christmas list this year:
Robux can be used for many different things on Roblox, including special outfits or animations for an avatar, unique abilities in games, weapons, and other objects, according to Common Sense Media.
There are different ways to get Robux. A person can buy them with real money as part of a Roblox Premium membership. Robux can be traded, or they can be donated to others.
"You can also earn them by charging Roblox users to play games you've created and by charging for items in your games," Common Sense Media explains.
If a kid asks for more Robux for Christmas, parents can purchase Roblox gift cards online. Recipients can add credit to their account that can be spent toward Robux or a Premium subscription.
While users can do a lot on Roblox for free, such as playing many games and using the studio game builder, there are also some premium activities that require Robux.
Animating an avatar, buying and trading weapons, and other activities cost money.
The platform offers three subscription levels in its Roblox Premium membership, which includes a Robux allowance:
For those who don’t want to subscribe to a membership, Roblox also sells "Robux Packages":
Roblox offers account controls that let parents restrict how kids can interact on the site and the types of games they can play.
The "Account Restrictions" feature gives parents and caregivers the option to limit chat to a curated list of contacts, or turn it off altogether. Parents can also choose to lock their kid’s "Contact Settings" so they cannot be changed, Roblox explains on its website.
To enable these settings, parents can add their email address to a kid's Roblox account and create a PIN that prevents kids from changing the settings back.
Kids of any age can create an account on Roblox with no parental restrictions. For accounts of kids under 13, Roblox automatically defaults to stricter settings — but a kid could change these if there's no parent PIN.
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This story was reported from Cincinnati.
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