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We need to talk about Roblox...


squirtle
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My son plays a lot of Roblox. He has asked me to help him make a game in the system. I had considered it, but then...

 

This article on Eurogamer made me wonder... https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-08-20-roblox-exploiting-young-game-developers-new-investigation-reports

 

Then the video contained within made me say no.

 

 

Some of the practices in here sound shady as all hell, and openly admitting that their content creators only get about 17% of any revenue is pretty fucking bleak.

 

I saw that they had been listed on the stock exchange earlier this year for $41bn but it never really occurred to me why they were worth this much. I think the video here only scratches the surface, but this seems to paint a pretty damning picture.

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I was kind of surprised Minecraft became popular, kind of stunned when Fortnite exploded, but the greatest bloody mystery in the game-o-sphere to me is Roblox. 
 

This is where I truly am “too old”.

 

Everything else I read about it is bad, so it’s probably being piled upon by media in the same way when I rolled my eyes at Mortal Kombat articles back in the day. 
 

Isn’t it supposed to be similar to what Dreams is? But yeah, making money on kid creations is at the very least “ethically dubious”.

 

Anyone got a in-depth view on it?

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Yeah I've got the level editor installed, it comes with a Lamborghini asset. How they aren't continually hit with cease and decists I'll never know.

 

Roblox crashes my XSX so hard it'll power cycle, and it caused a new HP laptop to blue screen earlier.

 

The games are the worst kind of cynical simple mechanic, bullshit repetition or pay to win mechanics you'll ever see, but it's a drip feed of progress that my kids are seemingly addicted to. I've let it slide during the pandemic, we all need the mental break and, well, whatever works.

 

I need to put Unity back on and get into that though, rather than support this bullshit platform.

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1 hour ago, TehStu said:

The games are the worst kind of cynical simple mechanic, bullshit repetition or pay to win mechanics you'll ever see, but it's a drip feed of progress that my kids are seemingly addicted to. I've let it slide during the pandemic, we all need the mental break and, well, whatever works.

 

This where I'm at. It's annoying when they are clicking away to make their dude bigger or some shite when they both have Switches and Xboxes with all the AAA titles you'd expect.

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My son (recently turned 10) has played Roblox fairly regularly for three or four years.  Most of it has been spent on one game called Stepford County Railway but he's dipped into a ton of others here and there but he's never really been interested in any of the "pay to win" mechanics.  I've definitely put some money in for him over that time, maybe £30 over the entire duration but that's basically been used as a tip jar for continued development of SCR.  Have we just been lucky that he's never been taken in by the sinister side of Roblox?

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24 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

My son (recently turned 10) has played Roblox fairly regularly for three or four years.  Most of it has been spent on one game called Stepford County Railway but he's dipped into a ton of others here and there but he's never really been interested in any of the "pay to win" mechanics.  I've definitely put some money in for him over that time, maybe £30 over the entire duration but that's basically been used as a tip jar for continued development of SCR.  Have we just been lucky that he's never been taken in by the sinister side of Roblox?

Based on that video, the sinister side is mostly felt by those making the "experiences", although there is a knock on effect to players due to the sort of games it encourages. Basically it's encouraging kids (mostly) to make games for it with the promise of riches, only to make it all but impossible for said games to make any money, taking an insanely huge cut if they do, setting a crazily high limit for withdrawals (along with a subscription fee) and all but requiring money to bid for advertisement space. Oh, and of course the "Robux" they're paid cost more to sell for actual money than they do to buy.

 

It does look very shady indeed, and that PMG video is excellent.

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I just straight out banned my son from playing it. He has more games available to him than he has the time to play across multiple consoles and to watch him playing the utter shit he was on Roblox just annoyed me beyond belief. He’d just be sat there at points with a book resting on a button while watching YouTube, just the waste of energy offended me. He moaned for a while but now the feeling among his mates seems to have changed on it and he now thinks it’s complete shite.

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The recent Edge article definite had my eyebrows atwitch. Simply fascinating, the way the siloed nature of the internet is allowing companies like this to operate in the way they are. 

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On 21/08/2021 at 08:19, metallicfrodo said:

I just straight out banned my son from playing it. He has more games available to him than he has the time to play across multiple consoles and to watch him playing the utter shit he was on Roblox just annoyed me beyond belief. He’d just be sat there at points with a book resting on a button while watching YouTube, just the waste of energy offended me. He moaned for a while but now the feeling among his mates seems to have changed on it and he now thinks it’s complete shite.

Yes! Holy shit, there are so many mechanics that reward the amount of time you're walking, or just sitting there, or something else. I'd enter the living room and find the Xbox on just idling while Roblox clocked up some crap thing or the other.

 

Silver lining... they're finally getting tired of the limited games. I think the peak of this was when I sat down to play with them using my laptop, and my son twinked me up a few levels (in a "game" where you do strong man workouts just pulling heavy objects for XP) by getting me inside a container of some sort, dragging me through the walls to levels I couldn't get to, and then had me hold on to 3 carrots while still in this thing, and him then dragging the whole lot across the line to give me massive XP. And then I had to go pickup a dumbbell and mash left mouse to spend that XP leveling up. 

 

I mean. What.

 

They're asking me to pay for the 2 person Minecraft realm again and I'm hoping, really hoping, this is us through the obsession with this game. About the only "good" mini game is some paintball team FPS, but even that is messed up in that everyone literally holds the fire weapon key constantly, angling their pellets in long arcs. No skill, you can be hit by random paint like bird shit. 

 

Need to get Unity installed, run through that Mag Pi FPS tutorial so they stop asking me to figure out Roblox dev.

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16 minutes ago, TehStu said:

Yes! Holy shit, there are so many mechanics that reward the amount of time you're walking, or just sitting there, or something else. I'd enter the living room and find the Xbox on just idling while Roblox clocked up some crap thing or the other.

 

Silver lining... they're finally getting tired of the limited games. I think the peak of this was when I sat down to play with them using my laptop, and my son twinked me up a few levels (in a "game" where you do strong man workouts just pulling heavy objects for XP) by getting me inside a container of some sort, dragging me through the walls to levels I couldn't get to, and then had me hold on to 3 carrots while still in this thing, and him then dragging the whole lot across the line to give me massive XP. And then I had to go pickup a dumbbell and mash left mouse to spend that XP leveling up. 

 

I mean. What.

 

They're asking me to pay for the 2 person Minecraft realm again and I'm hoping, really hoping, this is us through the obsession with this game. About the only "good" mini game is some paintball team FPS, but even that is messed up in that everyone literally holds the fire weapon key constantly, angling their pellets in long arcs. No skill, you can be hit by random paint like bird shit. 

 

Need to get Unity installed, run through that Mag Pi FPS tutorial so they stop asking me to figure out Roblox dev.

Every parent's experience is different but the same. Some rubbish, mechanically bereft nightmare of a thing that rewards nothing. I just don't get it. Although, my son spends most of his time playing a game called Arsenal which is actually a not too bad team based arena shooter. The rest though... Ye gads!

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The good here is that I've said they can spend their chore money on DLC or even games if they save it up, but the nature of Roblox and Robux, where you're basically spending money on specific games only, means they've never asked and understand it's a waste. They bounce off games so quickly that even they realize spending Robux would be a waste of time.

 

Instead, they're saving up for those custom colour Xbox pads. Much more useful. 

 

I'd say if your kiddo is desperate to play this game, you're probably better off enjoying it vicariously through streamers, some of which spend money on it.

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