Roblox Hires Online Safety Expert as Director of Digital Civility

Posted by | News, PC, Xbox One | No Comments

Fortnite is getting all the attention, but online free-to-play game Roblox is still one of the most popular gaming destinations for young people around the world, with an active user base in the millions. Much of that crowd is under 18. Roblox Corporation has made numerous steps to ensure online safety, a top concern for parents whose kids enjoy exploring virtual worlds.

The Roblox Corporation has recently hired British online safety expert Laura Higgins as its Director of Digital Civility (the staff page lists her as Online Safety Operations Manager). Higgins has 20 years of experience working with online safety and educational organizations like the South West Grid for Learning. Higgins will work to create a safe, fun, productive environment for players, as well as develop educational resources for parents.

“Because Roblox is rapidly growing into one of the most popular places for kids and teens to hang out and play online, we have a duty to make sure that when they use our platform they can explore their creativity freely and safely,” said Higgins. “We have an opportunity to engage with young people in a unique way, and I hope that by listening to them and giving them a voice, we can help shape their positive behaviors both online and offline. I am beyond delighted to be joining this world-class team of innovators, and I look forward to working with external partners around the world.”

Roblox’s new Digital Civility Initiative will work to improve programs for parents, enhance user experience, and extend Roblox’s educational work with schools.

Roblox originally launched on PC way back in 2006 as a building creation game using Lego-like blocks. It’s also available on mobile devices and Xbox One. The ESRB has rated the Xbox One version E10+ for Fantasy Violence.

Game Walkthroughs Aren’t Cheating—They’re Research

Posted by | Tips for Parents | 2 Comments

If you’ve watched your kids struggle with a game, then head to Google and suddenly come back and easily move on to the next level, you might wonder if they’re cheating. Are they short-circuiting something that’s supposed to be a learning experience? We know games can be useful educational tools, but how effective can they be if kids are looking up how to do everything?
Read More

gaming safety tips for parents and children sony

Gaming Safety Tips for Parents and Children

Posted by | Tips for Parents | 2 Comments

Video games are a way of life for many families. The positive effects of gaming are too numerous to count. Gaming gives families a chance to play together and enjoy priceless family time. Kids learn critical life skills from gaming, such as problem-solving, creative thinking, cooperation, and persistence. When our family spends time gaming together, it gives us the opportunity to teach our children about failure, and trying again, while celebrating their successes. It shows our children how to cheer each other on, and compete with each other in a fair, kind way. The Journal of Adolescent Research claims video game players have a higher level of family closeness, activity involvement, attachment to school, and positive mental health. Read More

Kim Kardashian screenshot

If your Tween Loves Fashion, Celebrities, and Beauty…They Still Shouldn’t Play Kim Kardashian Hollywood

Posted by | Reviews | One Comment

Kim Kardashian Hollywood is a free app available for OS and Android, and it kind of seems like everybody is playing it. It’s pretty much what it sounds like—you’re vying for fame in the wealthiest parts of Los Angeles, trying to make that A-List.

Disclaimer—I played this game for only about an hour. I’m pretty sure I got the gist of it, but who knows? Maybe at some point down the road, the story will take a turn and I’ll have to make some tough personal decisions involving the ethics of wealth and beauty.

(Shh, I can dream, right? Edit: apparently you do have to decide at one point whether to take nude photographs in order to earn more fame.) Read More

Big Brother is watching privacy

When You Game Online, Your Info Is Saved. But Who Saves It?

Posted by | Tips for Parents | No Comments

In the last decade of popular online console gaming, a generation of human beings has gone from tiny babies to hormonal middle schoolers. If you’re a young person, that might sound like an eternity. For older folks, it hasn’t been long at all.

Whether because online games have been with us for too long, or because they have not been with us for long enough, there is a certain “Wild Westy-ness” to the current state of personal privacy. The local sheriff might have your back in a fight…or he might not. The best way to keep your information safe is to try to keep it to yourself, as much as possible. Read More