Predators Could be Grooming Your Children through Virtual Worlds and Gaming Systems; All Parents Need to Read This!
We live in a world where children are increasingly becoming more involved with video gaming. Now, I will say that Charliegh has more screen time than she should. I feel there is no problem as long as some of that times is spent on an educational platform, like ABS Mouse, Starfall or one that her school has linked her to.
Whoever said a child could have 30 minutes to an hour screen time has never argued with a 6 year old trying to beat an Obby.
She is an only child, and she is very smart. She needs to engage her mind or I will end up losing mine. She is also lonely, because I do not allow Charliegh to go to the neighbor’s house, hang out with kids in the neighborhood or to have just anyone over to her house.
I think I try compensating those things through allowing her more screen time. I allow her to play her games. We even got her the Xbox 1 for Christmas. She loves Minecraft and Legoland Jurassic World. She also loves simulator games, because she can really use her imagination.
This is where we ran into ROBLOX.
I didn’t think much of ROBLOX when we first set it all up. I even got her Robucks so she could customize her avatar and get a meep in Meep City. She played it on her Xbox, desktop and on her tablet. There is a chat window. These are interactive virtual worlds that the children call Obby’s.
Before I found anything wrong with the games the behavioral changes came. She started wanting to be online from the time she woke until we had to force her off. She started getting very irate when told to log off. She stopped watching her favorite You Tubers, playing other games, playing with her toys and no longer wanted to leave the house to do anything. She would rush through homework so she could get online. It was concerning, so we took the game away for a while. She missed her “friends”. She started doing better, so when she got her A/B report card she was allowed to get it back, with some stricter rules and time limits set. There were still some behavioral issues come time to log off, but it was not as bad as before. I chalked it up to her age and we got through it.
I could not believe my eyes!
I monitor Charliegh on her gaming, there are parental controls, I get weekly reports on her activities online and all that. However, one day I came up behind her while she was on ROBLOX in Meep City. She was in someone else’s Ace (virtual house or Estate) in the bedroom.
They were chatting back and forth, and it got my attention. He said, “Do you wanna ######### with me?”
She said “yeah” and he replied “Let me go get a bed.” There were naked avatars with one female avatar on her knees. I reported the game, and it was quickly removed, but I did notice there were more than 21,000 players before I exited out of the game
I lost my sh###t.
My child had no idea what was going on, but as an adult I was horrified. I got on the chat and really gave it to this perv. I told her dad, and I even broke down crying because I failed to protect her. I have no idea how many times my child was targeted by a predator in these virtual worlds, but in my heart I know it was not the first time.
We went through the depression again and after a while and a lot of discussions we decided to tighten the parental controls and only allow her to play certain simulator games on the Xbox where we could see the things taking place, she was not to accept any friends without mom looking at it first, no chatting whatsoever and never enter an Obby without us knowing and having approved it first. There are some that seemed innocent, like survive the disaster, bird simulator and the like. I figured if one of us were right there and she understood the consequences were losing her beloved game (which in looking back, seemingly became an addiction) if we caught her in the forbidden Obbys or chatting all would be well.
Now I know that I should have stuck to my guns and not allowed myself to think I was overreacting. I should have kept her off ROBLOX all together!
This is being called “the new Minecraft”. Kids are flocking to ROBLOX, so I did let that become a distraction for my good sense. After all, it could not be that bad if so many parents are allowing it in their homes, so I must be once again being a helicopter mom.
Well from now on I don’t care, if I feel it’s not right for my child she is going to have to hate me for a little while, because it was only days later when I opened my inbox to find a message from a friend about this virtual world of predators grooming innocent children who have no idea what’s happening.
This story was from a dad, and it shined a lot of light on the reality of what I had allowed in my house, not once but tree times. I was just putting my child out there to be targeted, and I had no idea though there were always reserves. It was not only my 6 year old or his 8 year old, but tons of parents came forward describing similar situations.
If you are not convinced log on under your child’s profile and see how long it takes with your pretending to be them to be approached by a child predator.
If your child has this game on any device take my word for it and get it off asap. These virtual worlds get traffic in numbers upwards of 30 million every month, most of those are children, but you can imagine what the other 15% to 25% are. The games in the limitless world of virtual realities are innocent enough until the monster enters the room or they enter a seemingly clean and safe Obby and it is in fact one that was created by one of these sicko’s. Everything can change in a second’s time. The only way to protect our children is to keep them out of and away from ROBLOX entirely and monitor everything they do online, because kids will be kids, and the way this platform captures their imagination, they most certainly will try to sneak into one of their favorite Obby’s eventually.
These predators are targeting our children, and it is up to us to make sure that we have done all we can to keep them safe at the end of the day, even if they don’t understand why right now. I struggled with that part a lot. I thought she would hate me forever, but she is slowly coming back to the kids I know and love with every day off the platform.
Does your child have ROBLOX, have you had any similar experiences with this or another gaming platform?
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