Teens are turning a children’s game into an outlet for bullying

Sofia Davis, Staff Writer

Roblox is a video game typically played by kids. Over the last couple of years, there has been a rise in teenagers joining the platform due to promotion on social media. Roblox is a hub for a variety of games developed by creators, some of which are regular players on the platform. Some of these games, such as “Adopt Me” and “Meep City” are tailored to a younger audience, but teenagers have started to join in order to troll and bully little kids that are just trying to have fun. 

I used to play Roblox back in 2016, and I was a victim of this bullying. I would just mind my business playing games, but older kids would make fun of me by commenting on how my avatar looked, how I couldn’t afford Robux (Roblox money), etc. Although these things don’t seem very significant, at the time they hurt my feelings, as I was a lot younger. I stopped playing after a while because I had gotten tired of the constant remarks that were hurting my self-esteem. 

A few years later, I decided to revisit my old account for fun. I reminisced by playing some of my past favorites, but as I jumped from game to game, I noticed that kids were still getting heavily bullied. 

I will admit, sometimes it’s funny when you’re just poking fun in an innocent way, but I’ve seen the bullying go to new extremes that are not okay. According to the New York Post, one of Fashion Director Sara Louise Petty’s sons had been bullied and was allegedly “buying Robux to give to boys targeting him.” Petty’s son was forced to spend over $1,000 to appease his bullies.

“He was trying to buy their friendship,” Petty said. 

I’ve seen videos on Youtube of teenagers playing Roblox where they’re just messing around and being funny rather than bullying, but I’ve also seen just as many videos with teens enjoying making fun of little kids. The problem with Roblox is that it’s very easy to bully kids since there are no real consequences.

Roblox censors inappropriate words and phrases to minimize harm, but since they recently introduced voice chat to the platform, there’s been an increase in bullying. People have gotten creative in the chat to still send harmful messages even with the banned words.

On occasion, I play with my friends and usually we keep to ourselves. We facetime, so there’s no need to type anything in the chat. There have been times though when we have messed with some of the younger kids on the app, but we’ve never bullied any of them. We make it very obvious we are just kidding around, so as to not make people feel bad. 

I do believe that there are many teenagers that do the same, but some take things too far. Roblox needs to do a better job of removing hateful people from the platform in order to minimize the cyberbullying that is occurring. 

In my opinion, I think that it’s ok for teenagers to play Roblox, as they are just having fun like the younger kids are trying to do, but they should step away from the bullying so that everybody can be happy.