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Opinion
David Fickling

Roblox Is Overdue a Reckoning With Screen Time

The newly listed, $44 billion gaming platform can afford to build in more protection against kids taking engagement to addictive levels.

How many hours a day?

How many hours a day?

Photograph: Bloomberg

If there’s one attribute that anxious parents associate with Roblox Corp., it’s safety. 

The immersive, gamified kids’ social network, worth as much as $44 billion after a direct listing last week, is proud of its sweet, child-friendly image and invests substantial sums maintaining it. With 54% of its users younger than 13 — the minimum age for most other social platforms and massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft — it cherishes its reputation as a walled garden, protected from the darker side of the internet.