Roblox, the popular DIY game platform among children, is expanding its audience beyond the younger target group. The company is making an effort to attract a wider range of users. In a Tuesday press release, it was announced that the company is now allowing content aimed at those 17 or older.
Roblox has reported that 38% of its 66.1 million daily visitors are now 17 and older. Despite being used mainly by minors, this statistic points to a significant increase in adult users on the platform. According to recent reports, the fastest growing age group of gaming app users is those between the ages of 17 and 24.
This is stated in a recent statement from the company
Roblox is an all-ages platform where people, no matter how old they are, can connect with friends and discover a wide variety of relevant, engaging, and age-appropriate experiences.
In March, Roblox made an announcement about its plans to adapt some of its video games and metaverse society to accommodate its growing demographic. New content with a more mature theme has been released. According to the guidelines on the website, games that fall under this category may display “intense violence, heavy realistic gore, moderately crude humor, romantic themes, unplayable gambling content, and/or the presence of alcohol.” In accordance with the recently unveiled 17+ policy guidelines, sexual content, nudity, illegal drug references and explicit violence remain prohibited.
Roblox has announced that it will restrict access to all 17+ “experiences” – a term used to describe games created by community members – to users who have verified their age. The company made this decision to ensure the safety and security of its users. According to recent reports, to get age verification, users must provide a government-issued photo ID along with a selfie.
Roblox has announced that it will continue to support experiences for users aged 9+ and 13+, as it has done before. Despite the complete ban of adult content on the platform, the website has faced challenges in effectively monitoring the content it hosts. According to a statement from Morgan McGuire, a chief scientist at the company, to Reuters last year, moderating Roblox was a challenging task due to its sheer size and decentralized setup. McGuire likened the process to “shutting down speakeasies” rather than regulating content on other online platforms. With an ever-growing number of users contributing to the platform, the number of multiplayer games available on the platform has surpassed 50 million. This number continues to grow as users regularly create and share new games.
A seven-year-old child has reportedly been affected by a case of in-game sexual assault on the popular gaming platform Roblox. This is just one of many notable instances of such incidents occurring on the platform. In 2022, a lawsuit was filed against the platform, accusing it of facilitating the exploitation of a 10-year-old girl. Kim Kardashian has reportedly threatened to sue a gaming app over claims that it ran an ad with sexually inappropriate content that used her image. The celebrity’s young son allegedly came across the ad while playing the game. Kardashian would take legal action against the app as a result of the incident.
Roblox has come under fire for its microtransaction system targeting its young user base, in addition to the ongoing challenges of content moderation. The system has been criticized for attempting to extract real money from users, further compounding the platform’s existing problems. Robux, the virtual currency used in the popular online game Roblox, is worth about $0.01 USD per unit. While seemingly insignificant, Robux’s accumulation can quickly become substantial as players use the currency to purchase various in-game items such as clothing and accessories. Interest groups have expressed concern about the ads, describing them as unregulated and without proper guardrails.
Roblox is moving forward with its plans for a 17+ future, despite some lingering concerns. In a recent press release, the company highlighted its current moderation policies and community standards in response to a change. The company emphasized that users have the option to report and block any person or content that violates these terms. A recent news report stated that safety remains a top priority as innovation continues. Roblox has announced that it may introduce additional age verification methods in the future, beyond the current photo ID policy.
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