Online Games For Your Children: Reviewing Roblox

What is Roblox?

Roblox is an online gaming platform where you can play games designed by other users and create and share your own games using Roblox’s proprietary game-developing tool. Once you sign up, you can play an infinite number of games, build and share creations, and chat with other users — all for free. If your kids are serious about Roblox, though, they’ll need Robux, and they’ll probably want to subscribe to the Builders Club, which provides additional features for a membership fee.

How does Roblox work?

Roblox offers two equally compelling modes: playing games and creating them. After registering, you have unrestricted access to both modes (however, most kids are just there to play). You can choose from a never-ending and continually evolving supply of creative and fun challenges in various categories, from shooters to murder mysteries to sports to fighting games. (Frustratingly, you can’t sort games by genre, so finding ones you like is often a process of trial and error.)

Or you can download Roblox Studio and work on building your own games. Gameplay can be uneven, but good creators tend to rise to the top of the feed. Some amateur developers use Roblox as a kind of portfolio to showcase their work for potential employers. For kids who are interested in creating their own games, Roblox offers a lot of instructions, a wiki, and a helpful player community. Creators can monetize their games to earn revenue, both by charging people to play their games and by offering pay-as-you-go in-game purchases — usually needed to get ahead in the game.

What age is Roblox for?

Roblox doesn’t specify a minimum age. Users of any age can create and join groups, chat, and interact with others. The company’s commitment to the theory of “constructivism,” which promotes the educational benefits of curiosity, designing, and building, is — in theory — appropriate for anyone who can navigate through a game. In practice, though, such an open approach can pose some risks to kids, especially younger ones. And though Roblox has some safety precautions in place, it remains a target of people with less-than-good intentions. Still, because of the learning potential Roblox offers, Common Sense Media rates it OK for users age 10+. We urge parents to help kids protect themselves by enabling privacy settings, teaching them how to recognize the methods that online predators use to win kids’ trust and exploit them, and showing kids how to report bad behavior and block users.

What is Robux?

Robux is Roblox’s in-game currency. You use them for a range of things, including special outfits or animations for your avatar, unique abilities in games, weapons, and other objects. There are different ways to get Robux: You can buy them, get them as part of your subscription, trade for them, or have someone donate some to you. You can also earn them by charging Roblox users to play games you’ve created and by charging for items in your games.

How much does Roblox cost?

Roblox uses a freemium/premium model. You can do a lot on Roblox for free, including play tons of games and use the Roblox Studio game builder. But doing anything beyond the basics, such as animating your avatar or buying and trading weapons, requires Robux. The company offers a range of subscription models in its Builders Club membership program: The “Classic” costs $5.95 per month or $57.95 annually; “Turbo” is $11.95 per month or $85.95 annually; and “Outrageous” is the priciest at $19.95 per month or $129.95 annually. You get a certain number of Robux daily depending on your subscription level.

Are there parental controls for Roblox?

Roblox offers account controls that let parents restrict how kids can interact on the site. You can control whether kids can be contacted, who can message them, and who can chat with them, and do a few other things in the contact settings. To enable these settings, you add your email address to your kid’s account and create a PIN that prevents kids from changing the settings back. The account controls are optional; kids of any age can create an account on Roblox with no parental restrictions. On accounts of kids under 13, Roblox automatically defaults to stricter settings, but a kid could change these if there’s no parent PIN.

Can you make real money from Roblox?

Yes, you can make real money on Roblox. In fact, dedicated creators can earn major bucks. Roblox offers a few different revenue-generating models, including charging others for access to games you create, charging incremental fees within your game, and trading rare items that other players are willing to pay for. To earn money, you have to be over 13, a member of the Outrageous Builders Club and have at least 100,000 Robux in your account. Then you can trade the Robux into the company for real money. 100,000 Robux is worth $350.

Is there chat on Roblox, and is it safe?

Roblox encourages users to interact through its Chat & Party function. All chat is filtered, which means inappropriate language is replaced by hashtag symbols. Chatting in accounts of kids under 13 is more heavily filtered. Roblox also employs human monitors who keep an eye out for inappropriate language and content.

What is “ODers” in Roblox?

“OD” stands for “online dater.” These are folks who join social networks, including gaming sites like Roblox, to find romantic partners. Games on Roblox can even be designed expressly for ODers. Roblox doesn’t explicitly forbid ODers, and ODers aren’t necessarily preying on kids. (They may be solely looking for other ODers.) Roblox’s monitors lookout for inappropriate conversations and content. And its community rules prohibit chat that’s sexual in nature. If your kid wants to use Roblox, it’s critical that you review online safety, such as how to identify potential predators, how to report and block users, and how to spot “grooming” behavior, which predators use to get their victims to trust them.

How do kids find out about Roblox?

If your kid likes Roblox, he or she can find lots of Roblox-related videos on popular gaming platforms such as Twitch, Miniclip, and YouTube Gaming. There are Let’s Plays — where gamers live-stream themselves playing Roblox games — as well as how-tos, news, and analysis by Roblox fanatics. Some of these videos have off-color language, so check out our YouTube guide for tips on keeping kids from overexposure to age-inappropriate content.

Are sexual predators a big problem on Roblox?

There are predators on Roblox, as there are many extremely popular social networks. Predators take advantage of Roblox’s easily accessible chat to target their victims. (All you have to do is sign up for Roblox to start chatting, and the Chat & Party window is featured on nearly every page of the site.) Roblox uses human monitors as well as technology to weed out the bad guys, but they still crop up occasionally. To avoid being contacted by a predator, and to play as safely as possible, kids should enable the most restrictive contact settings (found on the Privacy Settings page). You can prevent anyone from contacting you by turning off chat entirely or limiting interactions to only friends. You should coach your kids to not chat with people they don’t know (unless they can verify they’re actually a friend, or a friend of a friend, in real life) and do not accept private messages (PMs) from anyone they don’t know. Make sure they know never to give away personal information, trust their instincts if someone makes them uncomfortable, and never move a conversation to a different platform (a telltale predator red flag).

As a Common Sense Media School – we share information that helps parents create safe environments for their children around the ecosystem.




The Power of Enduring Difficult Processes

Endurance is the ability to tolerate an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Colossians 3:23 New International Version (NIV)

It is such an amazing feeling being on this side of the world ( I mean Kenya ), and alive at this time to see the world shine a spotlight on my motherland, Being celebrated for the right reasons because sometimes we can be a tad extreme. There are so many lessons to learn from Eluid Kipchoge the man who proved to the world that indeed “ No Man Is Limited.” I believe with God All Things Are Possible.

So over the last few months, I have affirmed that I am a First Move Advantage Person ( Go Figure ), and that means I am a trailblazer.

As I was watching in awe the documentaries and videos of Kipchoge over the last few days to the Ineos Challenge, I saw that there was a team of “ endurance experts” ( Google what they do ).

I remember asking, “ An endurance what? “ It was quite an interesting question since I am often on the receiving end of this question. Often when I introduce myself as a Family IT Consultant, people follow the introduction with a “What do you do” question, but that is a blog for another day. haha

I am encouraged that No Human Is Limited because our limits come only from thinking that we cannot accomplish something, and that is often dictated by a fellow human being.

The temptation of putting my alarm off as it blasted my ears this morning at 3:55 am was incredible. I mean, it is raining outside and the bed is so warm, I am sure I can pull 2 more dreams and 2 more hours.

But, I remember – Whatever I feed my mind, feeds my heart and eventually my hand ( I quote this in my training all the time ) and I told myself it is in the endurance that we find what we asked for.
So I get up and do what I do each morning at 4 am – work.

Eliud Kipchoge and his team put in work for years to be able to achieve the great Ineos challenge. It did not happen in their dreams. It happened in the tolerance of an unpleasant and difficult daily routine.
It takes discipline and agility. It requires constant affirmation, and it demands consistency especially when everything is working against.

A good friend told me that opportunities come disguised in overalls ( I associate overalls to work). That means If you are not willing to get dirty or uncomfortable YOU WILL NOT ACHIEVE ANYTHING . You will probably find yourself saying “ boy that was damn luck”

I have made a conscious decision to compete with myself and It is one of the things I learned from Eliud. Competing with other people is a huge distraction and a waste of time ( Aren’t we all paving ways for ourselves? Our visions are totally different)

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon. I was not alive to see this but I read and watch the stories written by people who witnessed this. In October 2019 I was alive to see a record being broken and I will encourage my Whiz Kids Africa children to write the stories with me because we were part of history, to change the narrative of consuming stories of Africa told by other people – We are owning our stories and we are telling them and coding them and animating them ( Name it )

I will teach our children the benefit of the “ First Move Advantage” and help them make those moves. Through technology it is possible. My dream is to see African children use technology and the Internet Safely, Effectively and Optimally.

I cannot end without celebrating the following people.

  1. Brigid Kosgei for setting a new Marathon in Chicago – Go Kenya
  2. Tyler Perry – Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry made history by being the very first black person to own a major film studio.
  3. Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia for getting a Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”
  4. Rwanda – For opening a Homemade Smartphone Factory.

There is a lot to celebrate and I have to celebrate myself for not snoozing the alarm. I am awake working on my dream. Arise and shine. Let God be your anchor this and every day.

Evelyn Kasina.

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The Dining Table – Where the Magic happens.

Magic happens at my dining table. The simple act of sharing a meal with my family just brings life to another level. For me, it’s more than just having food. It’s the perfect stage where the art of sharing reveals in all of us at home. It is at the dining table where we share physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most of all, its where our conversations happen.

In our home, my family has the dining table as one of the tech-free zones. We do not engage with any form of technology here, and this has had a tremendous effect on how we interact with each other. We get the time to have real and meaningful conversations and this is where the magic starts.

I remember a question my 8-year-old son asked us. “ How many people have you made sad this week? “ For a moment, the world stopped! My husband and I gave each other THE look ( you know, that look in the rare moments where couples do a telepathic conversation? Go figure..) as we fumbled to find a response to an otherwise innocent and provocative question.

I told him,
“Ryan, I put a major boundary this week on someone who took advantage of me and it has cost me anguish – there are at least 4 people who are angry with me.”

He looked at me and said,
” Mum, you have to protect your heart and boundaries are important. You say that to us that all the time.”

As you may have noticed in your home, our children listen and they appreciate what tough love is, at least in the long run. It is not easy but they get it.

My daughter then said,
“I sat next to Zoe at lunch and she made me happy. We shared jokes.” ( she is 5 years).

I feel lucky that the art of sharing conversations in my house has grown. We have developed a culture of engaging in deep and real conversations.

We don’t ask the “ normal “ questions – how are you? NOOOOO.

We all endeavor to go deep and connect emotionally. We actually have a label for that. Whenever one of us is feeling dull, sad or annoyed, we say that we want to turn the member feeling blue into feeling yellow. ( Blue is our dull color and yellow is the happy color ) This is why I feel that our dining table is where the magic happens.

To say the least, this culture came through deliberate intent and immense cooperation from all of us. We took the time to learn our individual personalities and love languages.

Additionally, as a mother, I realized that it is one thing to be self-aware and it is another to know how to help the ones around me and teach them how to be involved.

My son demonstrated this so well the other day when his sister ( a sanguine ) threw a hissy fit because “ no one “ at the play area wanted to play with her. He responded to her fit by telling her that, “ Natasha if you want to make friends please become one.” What a profound response, one child to another.

As much as that comment was directed to my daughter, I felt like I needed to hear it more because I have difficult moments when I am NOT in control of situations. My behavior just rubs some people the wrong way.

That is how I learned from my flegmatic son, ( smiles) and he takes that from his dad. He has a calm demeanor, I am the hurricane ( Laughs).

Roses, Thorns, and Buds

Through such avenues, like the dining table, we go to the level of our children and we are not afraid of sharing what we really feel. Once in a while, we do an informal meeting called ( Roses, Thorns, and Buds ). This is a reflective meeting where we sit down and figure out how we are handling situations and people around us.

Roses – What are the good things that have happened in the family that we thank God for? What nice thing did someone do to you that made you happy?

Thorns – ( we brave for a super long list ) we discuss the hurt feelings and uncomfortable incidences

Buds – What can we do differently especially in light of the thorns

On a personal level, this has even helped me understand why my calm husband sometimes keeps quiet when the hurricane in me explodes. It has really helped me in understanding his feelings and point of view.

My children on the other hand… Wow! It just amazes me how they learn to express themselves without causing more damage and find solutions within.

The dining table it is the place where the magic happens. Make the dining table a tech-free zone and let that table be a place where magical conversations happen.

Happy parenting.

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