A horrified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game, used by children, which allows people to directly communicate with young kids. Roblox, a gaming site that is marketed to kids and teens, invites children into a virtual world to “create adventures, play games, role play and learn with their friends”. It has more than 30 million unique monthly users, which are predominantly kids.
Dad Iain Morrison has appealed to the founders of the game to remove the chat facility. The former rugby league player for Hull, England, claims the game, is being used by adults to prey on vulnerable youngsters after finding inappropriate messages from a predator in the iPad game used by his eight-year-old son.
Mr Morrison decided to use the game after reading a worrying article about it online, The Sun reported. He asked his two boys, aged 8 and 11, if they used the game and they said they did, so he decided to check it out. Shockingly within 15 minutes of playing the 33-year-old father was shown sexual positions, and told he was “sexy” and “cute”.
He said, from the outside the game looked fine, but when he went into a room with a pool he was immediately “propositioned”. “They said ‘hi’ so I said ‘hi’ and they asked if I was a boy or girl and my age so I said I was an eight-year-old boy,” he says.
“They asked me to follow them to their house, then into the bedroom and asked me to lay down on top of them and then they started with the sexual movements. “They said ‘you look cute’ and ‘you look sexy’. “It was sickening reading all the comments pop up. My kids were completely oblivious as to what the words and stuff meant.”
The disturbed father-of-two has deleted the application from his boys’ iPad and encouraged others to do the same in a Facebook post.
“It’s full of f**king paedophiles if you ask me it’s completely messed up its turned my guts, anyways it’s deleted off their computers forever and I’d highly recommend you check your kids to see if they have it and get rid of it,” he warned.
Roblox has published advice for parents on its website which details ways to keep kids safe.
“The game allows an account to block other users that may be harassing, bullying or spamming, regardless of age. For more information on this, click here. Roblox spokesman said the safety of its community was a top priority and they’re constantly assessing and improving our trust and safety measures. The site has several safeguards including chat filtering where a system finds and flags inappropriate language. For users that are under the age of 13, these filters are set to block any sharing of personal identifiable information. “We continually fine tune this software to detect and block new and creative ways to message inappropriately,” he said.
The site also has optional friend filtering. All accounts for users that are under the age of 13 are set to only communicate with friends.
The spokesman said this is all backed up by a moderator network that uses an in-house team to review every image, audio, and video file that is uploaded to our site or into any of our games.
If users or their parents are witnessing any bad behaviour in the game, we urge them to flag the ‘abuse report’ function in the game so that these participants can be handled by the Roblox team.
If parents have questions or suggestions. They can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”