What is kids' gaming app Roblox? Is it safe for children to play? 4 years ago

What is kids' gaming app Roblox? Is it safe for children to play?

Police in the UK have urged parents to be vigilant about a gaming app that's become popular with children.

Roblox is a kids' game that allows users to design and build a virtual 3D world and interact with one another.

But there is concern over some aspects of the game, including characters doing inappropriate things and the fact that gamers can chat with strangers.

Officers sent children home from school at Bredhurst Primary School in Gillingham, Kent, recently with a note about Roblox after talking to pupils, reports the Manchester Evening News.

"We were talking to a very large group of Year 1 students and were shocked when over half said they were playing Roblox," the note read.

"Most children disclosed that they had online friends in Roblox that their parents didn’t know about.

Parents warned over 'naked characters' and contact from strangers in popular gaming app

"It got worse when many of the children stated they had received in-game messages from strangers and they hadn’t told their parents.

“All of the children said they had seen naked characters walking around the game and doing very adult things."

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The police told parents to check their children's Roblox accounts for friends they didn't know.

A representative for the game said in a statement that user safety is a priority and that it's constantly working to improve its safeguards.

"Together we want to work with parents and the community to stay vigilant over today’s online landscape and continue to build best practices to avoid negative situations.

We want to make sure that all users are aware of the potential challenges and navigate them through it.

"This is a priority for us. We want all users to be safe on Roblox, and we will continue to invest in the safety of the game so it is a positive, productive, fun and protected space for our community. We would like to hear from parents if they have questions or suggestions."

Roblox toughened its child safety features last year, including adding parental controls. You can find out more about them here.

So how safe is Roblox?

Looking online, the general consensus seems to be that the game is OK but needs stringent supervision.

"Like all multi player online games with user generated content," writes child cyber safety blogger the Internet Safety Lady, "there is a risk of stranger danger and adult content."

It has a three-star rating on internet safety forum Common Sense Media, which recommends a minimum age of 10 for players. The thread is well-worth reading - check it out here.