Roblox is a game I am often introduced to parents of young children. Not everyone loves it, but it stands out as an experience that offers a freedom of play led by the player community. i like how Roblox Games evolve like play in the playground, and the way children can play without the direction and overly strict restrictions of other games.
However, there has always been tension in the ESRB (Everyone 10+) and PEGI (7+) rating of the game. Roblox offers a wide variety of experiences, many of which met those criteria, but also many that offered something that would normally receive a higher rating. It was just a limit of the rating system designed to rate individual games rather than a game platform like Roblox.
This week there are some big changes coming in this area of Roblox that’s good news for parents. First, the game’s rating will be adjusted. Second, a new in-game Experience rating will be added to Roblox games when developers fill out a questionnaire.
Roblox PEGI and ESRB Rating Update
ESRB used to rate Roblox as Everyone 10+ and have now updated this to Teen for “Various Content: Discretion Advised”. Rate PEGI now Roblox as “PEGI!” with the advice “Parental guidance recommended”. The VSC Rating Board explains this change, stating. “This rating was awarded because it contains a wide and unpredictable range of user-generated content, which may contain elements that are unsuitable for younger children.”
I asked the ESRB about the change and an ESRB spokesperson said, “ESRB has updated the Roblox age rating from E10+ (Everyone 10+) to T (Teen) due to changes to the platform that offer a wider range of content for different age groups. ”
Dirk Bosmans, Operations Director at PEGI, said: Roblox “is now labeled with the “!” label, the PG label that PEGI introduced for apps (but never games) that offer a variety of (curated) content. You may have already seen it for Netflix, YouTube or Spotify. It always appears with a description that reads “parental controls recommended.” We believe this works much better when combined with the internal parental controls and the more diverse content available in Roblox.”
This means that parents have more control over access to Roblox As a whole. In Europe, the “PEGI !” rating translates to 12+ on console limits. In the US it is now not allowed to restrict a console to only play E Everyone 10+ games Roblox be played without parental consent.
Roblox Content Parental Controls
In addition, Roblox introduces comprehensive parental controls to filter which experiences are appropriate based on their content. Parents can use these controls to manage the age ratings that their children and teens can access. Age recommendations given are based on child development research and industry standards.
A lot Roblox games now display general information about which age range is recommended for use of this content, and descriptions indicating which elements and themes in this content contributed to this specific age recommendation:
- 13+ (suitable for 13 years and older): Content is generally suitable for 13 years and older. May contain frequent moderate violence and/or slightly realistic blood.
- 9+ (suitable for 9 years and older): Content is generally suitable for 9 years and older. May contain frequent mild violence and/or heavy unrealistic blood.
- All ages (suitable for everyone): Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain rare mild violence and/or slightly unrealistic blood.
I asked Laura Higgins, director of Community Safety and Civility at Roblox why these new assessments were created instead of using the existing ESRB or PEGI assessments that parents already know. “We scrutinized developmental milestones and consulted child development experts to guide our policy making and define these age recommendations. In this way, we have ensured that the experience guidelines are based on child development research and informed by industry standards.”
“Bee RobloxHiggins continued, “We have always prioritized safety and courtesy on our platform, and with experience guidelines, our goal is to provide our Roblox community with tools to choose experiences that are right for them. Our parental controls have now become the one-stop-shop for parents to choose settings that work best for their children and teens on Robloxincluding limiting contacts and chat, setting up spending controls and notifications, and managing the content their children can access.”
The adjusted age rating seems more consistent with the content available on Roblox. The ability to limit your child’s experience to only games that have revealed their suitability for the content is also a very useful tool for parents. All games that do not complete the content questionnaire are currently treated as 13+.
My preference was for Roblox to get the developers to complete the IARC questionnaire which would then have generated an ESRB or PEGI rating for each Roblox game. This would have been easier for parents to understand as the reviews are already known. Moreover, it would have been complete from the start. currently the Roblox Experience ratings refer to violence, not the other areas covered by an IARC rating, such as sexual content, drug use, and crude humor.
Anyway, this is really a positive step in the right direction for Roblox. It takes on the difficult and detailed work of determining which experiences are suitable for different players. This ensures that the beautifully open and creative experiences are not unduly blocked and also ensures that parents and guardians have the information to make informed choices about which Roblox games their child plays. To be able to limit this automatically through the game settings is really valuable.