In modern America, most of today’s consumers live in a digital-dominated world. So it should come as no surprise, especially to parents of preteens and teens, that many of today’s kids regularly find entertainment and fellowship through an Internet connection.
And while most parents may have heard the names of popular online games like Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, and Among Us, they may not know exactly what these kid-favorite titles are all about. For parents concerned about whether these games are age-appropriate (or who may have other concerns about the safety of their children playing these online games), here’s a high-level rundown of today’s four most popular online games among pre- teens and teenagers:
How old do you have to be to play Roblox?
Roblox does not have a minimum age requirement. Users of all ages can create and join groups, communicate with and interact with others. In principle, the company’s devotion to the “constructivism” philosophy, which emphasizes the educational benefits of investigation, design, and construction, is acceptable to anyone who can navigate a game.
In practice, however, such an open approach can endanger children, especially the youngest ones. While Roblox has some safeguards in place, it remains a target for those with less than benevolent intent. However, due to Roblox’s learning potential, Common Sense Media recommends it for users 13 and older.
What exactly is Roblox?
Simply put, Roblox is a persistent (that is, always online, 24/7) multiplayer gaming platform that allows millions of users around the world to create, share, and play 3D games and virtual experiences with each other, all in real time.
Roblox can be played on a variety of devices and operating systems, ranging from smartphones and tablets to laptops and game consoles, even VR headsets. Due to Roblox’s wide accessibility, relative ease of play, and freemium cost model, young gamers (particularly those under the age of 13) have latched on to and propelled its popularity in recent years, making it the l most popular entertainment app for that age group.
Top advice for parents
Our advice is the same no matter what gaming site your child is using, it’s important to have a conversation with your child about the sites they use and carry on an open discussion that will help them come to you with any concerns they may have. Involving your child in discussions and decisions about online safety and their use of the Internet will help them understand why it is important for them to stay safe and enjoy themselves online. He will also help educate them on how they can stay safe online and know what to do if something goes wrong.
- Stay engaged and have regular conversations Show interest in the games your children play. This could be through a conversation about what they like to play or it could be by watching them play. You might even try playing it yourself! If children know that you are interested in play, they may feel more comfortable talking to you about it or asking for help if they need it.
- Help them understand the importance of personal information Make sure your child understands the importance of keeping their personal information safe and speak to an adult immediately if the chat goes from being in the game to meeting offline, to personal information or sending pictures.
- Set rules for spending money on games Talk to your child to make sure they understand that real money can be spent on games. Do you make promises that work for your family, will your child have to ask before making an in-game purchase? If you’d like more help crafting these promises for your family’s Internet use, please refer to our family agreement.
- Encourage them to tell you about their concerns Remind your child that he should come to you if he sees an inappropriate game or content, if he sees bad comments or if something bothers him in the game. If you know how to report this type of content within Roblox, you will be in the best position to help them if they need it.
- Use available security features