Roblox is, according to their website, an “immersive, user-generated” game for “kids of all ages.” To one North Carolina mom, however, it’s an online nightmare.
Amber Petersen was reading to her daughter while the 7-year-old was playing Roblox on her iPad. Her daughter interrupted her reading to show her what was happening in the game. Her character was, as her mother describes in a Facebook post, being “violently gang-raped” by two male characters.
“Words cannot describe the shock, disgust, and guilt that I am feeling right now, but I’m trying to put those feelings aside so I can get this warning out to others as soon as possible,” Petersen wrote on June 28. “Thankfully, I was able to take screenshots of what I was witnessing so people will realize just how horrific this experience was. … Although I was immediately able to shield my daughter from seeing the entire interaction, I am shuddering to think of what kind of damage this image could have on her psyche, as well as any other child that could potentially be exposed to this.”
Roblox, much like Minecraft, is a game-creation platform. Over 50 million users play the game per month and create their own characters, worlds, and games; however, some content that users create is not suitable for children.
Other parents chimed in about their own experiences with inappropriate content. One mother banned her son from playing the game when she discovered that one mission was to kill his own character. She wrote, “He had to go around his character’s house and drink bleach or find a knife.”
Despite Petersen and her husband taking safety measures, like blocking outside conversations and friend invitations, and the game having moderators online 24/7, some adult content still gets through due to the massive amount of material that is created.
According to a press release from the company, the game published 11 million titles in 2017.
The Roblox company said in a statement that they were “outraged” by the incident and that the user who created the action will be permanently banned from the site. “We have zero tolerance for this behavior. Our work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us,” the statement read.
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