A US mother has taken to Facebook to warn parents about the dangers of popular kids game Roblox. Roblox is described as a massively multiplayer online game, where players can create and design their own games and engage with other users through a portal within the game. The universe is made up of Lego-like virtual blocks and if your settings are open, anyone can talk or interact with your avatar. Amber Peterson, from North Carolina, didn't realise this and allowed her seven year old daughter to play the game regularly until she made a shocking discovery while watching her on her tablet this week. Petersen said her daughter was playing the game, which is marketed at children, when she became confused by a crowd of people who ran over and launched themselves at her character, and asked what was happening.
Amber was horrified as she watched her daughter's avatar be 'violently gang-raped' by other users who cornered her on an in-game playground: "At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My sweet and innocent daughter’s avatar was being VIOLENTLY GANG-RAPED ON A PLAYGROUND by two males. A female observer approached them and proceeded to jump on her body at the end of the act. Then the 3 characters ran away, leaving my daughter’s avatar laying on her face in the middle of the playground. Words cannot describe the shock, disgust, and guilt that I am feeling right now, but I’m trying to put those feelings aside so I can get this warning out to others as soon as possible." She includes several screen shots that she had taken of the game, where it was obvious that the characters who attacked her daughter were designed with large penises and the express purpose of assaulting other users.
Roblox said it was "outraged" that a "bad actor" had violated its community policies and rules of conduct. A spokesperson said: "We have zero tolerance for this behaviour. Our work to ensure a safe platform is always evolving and remains a top priority for us." The game came under fire just last month when another parent checked their child's device and found that they had been invited to an 'online sex room' built as a world within Roblox. The room was taken down immediately by the company, but concerns are mounting that they can't keep on top of the 'bad apples' due to the reported 64m monthly users that hit the site. Amber Peterson urges parents to remove their kids from the site altogether, and maybe she's right.