Published in Gaming

Primitive meta-universe for kids raises eyebrows

by on16 February 2022

Sex, nudity, bondage gear, and Nazis what is wrong with that? 

A kids gaming platform which features naked men, bondage gear, people dressed as Nazis and couples having sex has apparently got a few people rather cross.

Roblox which is being touted as a primitive metaverse is popular for kids between the ages of nine and 12, use the game. Roblox allows users to create and play games together. It's a way to connect, in real time, with other people in a digital world.

It enables players to build games, and there in lies the problem. Roblox sex games are commonly referred to on the platform as "condos". They're spaces, generated by users, where people can talk about sex - and where their avatars can have virtual sex. In these games, Roblox's rules are thrown out of the window.

Roblox accepts it has a problem: "We know there is an extremely small subset of users who deliberately try to break the rules," a spokesperson told the BBC.

Condo games are usually only live for a short time - often less than an hour - before they are discovered and taken down. Roblox says it is constantly trying to take these games offline - using both manual and automated systems.

"We conduct a safety review of every single image, video, and audio file uploaded to Roblox, using a combination of human and machine detection," it said.

To be fair condos are not games you would stumble on. You would need to actively search for them. It is clearly adults targeting a children’s game.

Roblox told the BBC they had developed 'Parental Control' tools, "that can be used to restrict who children interact with and which experiences they can access".

But that requires parents to be interested in what their kids are doing online and know how to use the safeguards rather than just outsource child rearing and blaming somone else.

Roblox wanted to emphasise to the BBC that condos are often difficult to find on the platform. But the BBC found inappropriate sexual language in legitimate games too.


Last modified on 16 February 2022
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