Roblox – A Cool Lego-Based Free Virtual World for Kids

Ads by Google

My darling wife was volunteering at the world-famous Ponoka Stampede (props to my cowboy homies). She saw a kid playing some cool games and asked what they were. “It’s Roblox!”, I imagine the child said. “Your husband should check it out and write about it on MakeUseOf.com. His article will go straight to the front page of Digg and be Twittered near and far.” Did I mention I imagined that he said this? The sky is purple in my world.

In any event, I did check out Roblox. Not only is it fun, it has some great features. It’s a cool, free virtual world for kids where you get to create your own character, much as you would for SecondLife or any number of other virtual world games.

In this one, the characters are blocky, and reminiscent of those little yellow Lego fellows. It’s kind of like Sims, where you get to build your own buildings and towns. Sort of like Webkinz in that you can earn points (known as tickets or Robux in Robloxian) so that you can do different things like buy user-created online goods for your Roblox character.

What really sets it apart is that kids playing on Roblox can create their own games and put them out there for the world to use.

Parent’s – take note of this site. Here are some of the uber cool tools you can use to keep your wee ones safe:

  • All in-game chat is filtered for coarse language. As the parent, you can control whether they can chat or use something called menu chat. It’s a list of pre-written questions and responses. The kid’s just choose them and that’s all the communication they are allowed.
  • You can control something called SuperSafe Privacy mode for the kids too. What that does is block ALL text fields from accepting any input. So your precious one cannot put any personal information out there.
  • As the parent, you login for them using your email account. That keeps you in control of their playing time AND adds another layer of security from weirdos.
  • Most importantly, Roblox has a team of paid and volunteer monitors who pore over all chat logs and forum discussions. There is zero tolerance for course or violent language.
  • The Roblox team provides tips for online security and recommends other resources to help you have a fun, safe time online.

As a Dad, I’m very pleased to see this. But as a grown-up kid, I want the games! There are a lot of games on this site, many of them user-built. As a result, some of them are not so good and some are way cool. Area 51 was pretty cool but I’m not sure exactly what the objective of it was. I found a flying saucer and got in it, but I couldn’t go anywhere. Then,I got infected with some sort of alien virus and that’s how you die, I guess. You don’t really die, you just regenerate.

me_at_area_511

The Roblox-created game, Crossroads, was really fun, too! It’s a good starting ground to learn how to use your tools (which are really weapons) with a bunch of other players. Some of them hang out there regularly and talk to each other and team up. That was so much fun, my wonderful one had to tell me to get back to writing. I wish she wouldn’t use the cattle prod, though.

Ads by Google

Sure, the game play seems juvenile, but guess what? It’s supposed to be. The point is that this is an online gaming community that the kids themselves can create. They can do that through the Roblox Studio. It strongly resembles the Visual Basic Studio and allows you to design your own spaces and games. Unfortunately, it’s not terribly intuitive to me, but they do have great documentation over at the Roblox Wiki.

To really get the full effect of building your own games and items in Roblox, you would need a Builder’s Club account, which does cost. Maybe give your kids a couple months of using the site in general, before commiting to that.

With the ability to build games, sell items that they make and interact with other games, kids are learning priciples of programming, design, marketing, business and Math skills. I fail to see the downside to Roblox.

Are you a Robloxian? Or maybe your kids are? What do you like best or least about Roblox? Is this your first time hearing of Roblox and you want to thank me with gratuitous praise? Are you aware of any other free virtual world for kids? Well, my fellow Robloxians, that’s what the comments below are for.

Ads by Google
Comments (24)
  • jeffrey

    it is fun

  • Johhny

    My kids love roblox they always build great stuff my sone account name is XxDesertXx

  • legomaniac

    Guy – great article – you should probably use the term “brick-based” in your title, because ROBLOX has nothing to do with lego, as noted in the article and on the ROBLOX home page. Also, lego shouldn’t be used as a generic term for “brick” given that there are about 20 different manufacturers of lego compatible interlocking bricks.

    • Guy McDowell

      To be revealingly honest, I am horrible with coming up with titles for my articles. So, I do my best and then the editor(s) write one that is usually WAY better. Thank goodness for editors! So I can’t take credit for this title. However, I see what the intent was. A title like this helps people find games that are Lego-like. If they used brick-based, they would probably just attract a lot of brick layers and not kids who live interlocking plastic bricks. Lego has become generic, much as in the same way Kleenex means tissue, Band Aid means adhesive bandage and Guy McDowell means way-cool dude who writes for MUO. ;)

  • askic

    and if you looked then you would find it has nothing to do with lego

  • askic

    Err…
    whoever wrote that report then your mainly wrong…
    The idea of area 51 was just a good fun place to hang out with loads of friends

    -and do you want your character to actually die when you have bought and created all that fun stuff.

    Would you like your childs character to die and encourage violence?

    – of course your character would regenerate.
    And if some games are not so good, then they have obviously just joined roblox.
    But I agree roblox dosent really have any downsides.

    • Guy McDowell

      I wasn’t giving negative criticism. I rather liked Area 51, but was wondering if there is a way to ‘win’ at that level. I think you may read something into my comments that just wasn’t there.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.