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The success of 'Roblox' and the childish look in video games

The success of 'Roblox' and the childish look in video games

For both the press and professional video game players, Roblox is a mystery. There are hardly any articles in the specialized pages. The Vox technology section , for example, titled an article about the game: " Roblox, the leading video game company that you may not have heard of, could be worth 2.5 billion dollars ." And, due to the slow way in which players have been added, their name does not appear normally in the lists of best-selling titles. However, Roblox is an absolute success.

A fashion in schools and institutes that has more than 90 million players worldwide. The American study Roblox Corporation launched it as an open beta in 2006. This title allows users to create, from several Lego-style pieces, their own worlds and mini-games, as well as enjoy those devised by others. There is no objective. There is no end, no goal. Just build, explore and get carried away.

According to the official website of the project, more than 5 million creators have designed from racetracks where original vehicles compete to complex fantasy universes waiting to be discovered. These "world builders" are the ones who have made the game a success 13 years after its launch. waiting to be discovered. These "world builders" are the ones who have made the game a success 13 years after its launch. The slow success of Roblox Hack can be explained, summarizing a lot, with five reasons: The first would be its multiplayer character - which makes it a mix between social network and videogames, allowing users to enjoy joint games online. The second would be the possibility of playing without limit on almost any platform - from the Xbox One to the mobile phone, through the PC and the tablet.

The third is that, being free, its entry barrier is minimal - despite the fact that it includes in-game purchases , that is, the possibility of acquiring different objects with money that allow, for example, to modify the character's appearance. The fourth is that it has had the complicity of popular youtubers that have attracted attention to the game. And finally, the fifth is that it is a children's game with a strong stance on child protection. The role of children's video games We will focus on this last reason to talk about video games dedicated to children.

For Lucas Ramada Prieto, a doctor of language and literature teaching, that children enjoy games created especially for them, instead of others for adults that they have appropriated, means that they are having fun with a product appropriate to their limits experiential and that will shape your cultural trajectory. In other words , by interacting with video games created for a childish look they will be learning to play in terms that are recognizable to them. The specialist in children's digital fiction also uses Fortnite's example to develop this idea. This popular game is born from catching an adult genre like the FPS ( first person shooter or first person shots) and eliminating several of the components not suitable for minors, such as blood or real weapons. It is not intended for children but it is an adaptation: "The trick is that although a priori it is not a children's game nobody says it can not be and children use it," says Ramada Prieto via telephone.

Like many games that appeal to children, Roblox has a side that can be used in classrooms. Through manuals for students and educators , the developers explain how the game can become a tool to learn about video game design, to discuss online bad behavior or to become familiar with programming (the language used by the game, called Lua , is known for being accessible and very easy to master). But for Ramada Prieto this is not valuable in itself. Defender of the "aesthetic education of childhood" advocates neglecting the teleological view that we apply to children's video games, for which all titles must have an educational "for" function (to learn mathematics, to learn geography ... ).

The specialist defends that we should ask children's videogames the same in communicative, aesthetic and artistic matters as those designed for adults, but taking into account the eyes of girls and boys towards the world, their particularities and constructive margins. "Unfortunately, the perception that is socially taken of that look is far from reality and the true interpretative and enjoyment abilities that creatures have, which has resulted in the offer of children's digital culture in very homogenized proposals that what they pretend is to educate you in different aspects of the official school curriculum. " According to Ramada Prieto, then, children's video games should not be simple or purely educational but should be developed in a framework that understands and stimulates their recipients. "The cultural niche with greater penetration in the private life of people of compulsory school age is being overlooked. More than 75% of people between 0-16 years play regularly according to the Spanish Association of Video Games, " he says. The specialist in children's digital fiction points out that neither the public school nor the rest of the institutions responsible for guaranteeing universal access to culture are worrying about teaching the possibilities of video games, showing different types of works, so that children develop tastes personal and critical capacity. "The lack of quality children's games influences when they generate massive fashions, such as Fortnite or Roblox but the important thing is that if we do not have training and mediation structures that know these games and put them in contact with the child population , we will not go anywhere, "says Ramada Prieto. Risks and protective measures Since Roblox is a children's game, that is, a title created expressly to be enjoyed by children from the age of 8, it includes a series of measures designed both to keep children safe and to inform parents about everything what they need to know about the tool (an example is found in this guide for parents that is offered when registering an account under 13 years old). However, despite the efforts of the developers, the game is not without danger. Although in-game purchases are very limited for minors and parental controls make it possible for children to not be able to send or receive messages from other users, it is necessary, as always before any activity inside and outside the networks, supervision by parents. The BBC highlighted, just a few weeks ago , the case of a child who was pressured to send images of a sexual nature, not within the game - where the mother had security controls activated - but through a third app not mentioned in which the preteen thought he was talking to other players on the platform. This practice, known as grooming (explained in this Twitter thread by the teacher and youtuber Juanito Libritos) is more frequent than we want to think and can occur both in multiplayer video games and through social networks or applications such as Whatsapp. Although the network security center for minors of the National Cybersecurity Institute emphasizes that Roblox is one of the platforms that works most in the protection of minors also warns that security will never be 100%. After a user hacked the systems in July of last year to include obscene animations with which he would end up violating the avatar of a seven-year-old girl , Roblox Corporation increased real-time monitoring of the platform and the contents that are created but the First barrier must always be in the family. Ramada Prieto points to another very different danger, the fact that children "are learning to swim on the high seas and surrounded by sharks." That is to say, that they are learning to play with proposals more based on market trends than with titles that take advantage of the communicative possibilities of the medium. You may Roblox not the perfect game -the doctor mentions language teaching both Chuchel as Metamorphabet in that sense- but at least part of a conscious creators meet, protect and encourage younger users. An unexpected fashion that starts from an underground game , in which no adult had repaired, and that comes to demonstrate the secret power that the younger ones amass within the videogame industry. The kids want to play. Now we just need the professionals to really feel to listen to them.

ROBLOX is a massive multiplayer online game (MMO), in which you can create your own worlds by using all kinds of blocks. You can also join worlds created and managed by other users worldwide.

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