NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Roblox, a video game dubbed the "new Minecraft" complete with a virtual world and a chat function, allows strangers to contact children.
According to a report in The Sun, a father in the U.K. was horrified when he was propositioned while checking out his 8-year-old son's iPad game.
“From the outlook it looks completely fine, you can go into different rooms and in the first room I wasn’t sent anything untoward," Ian Morrison told The Sun.
“Then I went in this waterslide room with a pool and immediately was 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. 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," said Morrison.
According to the Roblox website, the game is intended to be "the best place to Imagine with Friends. Every day, virtual explorers come to ROBLOX to create adventures, play games, role play, and learn with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3D environment.
There are also instructions posted on the site on how to report inappropriate behavior and to block other players.
"Players can report inappropriate chat messages or content by using our Report Abuse system, which is located throughout the site and in-game. In addition to reporting any rule violations, players can also completely block others from chatting or playing with them in-game or on the website. You can block other players on the website by visiting the offending user’s Roblox profile, clicking the three dots that appear in the upper right-hand corner, and then clicking “Block User” in the drop-down menu. You can also block players in-game by clicking on their name on the leaderboard, and then selecting “Block User.” "
There were also responses to the father's Facebook post in support of the game including these:
"I play ROBLOX everyday. I am 12 and it is a harmless game. If your child plays ROBLOX make sure they do not play games that are role plays like a family role play."
"You people who haven't played the game, stop being naive. The system is surprisingly strict, and the game is not only role-playing. There are fighting servers, cooking servers, and much much more. Also, sexual servers usually get banned within a day, and users get poison bans and IP bans. I got a warning just for sending a Facebook link in-game to my friends, so no need to worry."
The website Kidspot.com.au reports of other parents finding the app and deleting it over similar concerns.
“I have had this experience too, my seven-year-old stepson had this game and he had people asking him things. Game is banned, he thought he was talking to friends from school.”
Another mom aid she removed it from her daughter’s iPad, after “an online safety course at the school told us about it”.