The former rugby league star said the disturbing messages in the virtual world “turned his stomach”.
A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game – aimed at children – which allows strangers to contact and communicate with young kids.
Roblox, which markets itself as a gaming site for kids and teens, invites children into a virtual world to “create adventures, play games, role play and learn with their friends”.
It has more than 30 million unique monthly users – predominantly kids.
Dad Iain Morrison wants the chat facility on the site removed as it allows strangers to message kids directly.
The former rugby league player for Hull, England, claims the game – targeted at children aged 8 to 12 – is being used by adults to groom vulnerable youngsters after finding vile messages from a predator in the iPad game used by his eight-year-old son.
“I was asked to lay down on top of them and they started with sexual movements”
Mr Morrison decided to use the game – dubbed the new Minecraft – after reading a worrying article about it online, The Sun reported.
He asked his two boys, aged 8 and 11, if they used the game and they said they did, so he decided to check it out.
Shockingly within 15 minutes of playing the 33-year-old father was shown sexual positions, and told he was “sexy” and “cute”.
He said from the outside the game looked fine, but when he went into a room with a pool he was immediately “propositioned”.
“They said ‘hi’ so I said ‘hi’ and they asked if I was a boy or girl and my age so I said I was an eight-year-old boy,” he says.
“They asked me to follow them to their house, then into the bedroom and asked me to lay down on top of them and then they started with the sexual movements.
“They said ‘you look cute’ and ‘you look sexy’.
“It was sickening reading all the comments pop up. My kids were completely oblivious as to what the words and stuff meant.”
Iain Morrison says the game’s chat feature needs to be removed. Source: Roblox.
“He thought he was talking to friends from school”
The disturbed father-of-two has deleted the application from his boys’ iPad and encouraged others to do the same in a Facebook post.
“It’s full of f**king paedophiles if you ask me it’s completely messed up its turned my guts, anyways it’s deleted off their computers forever and I’d highly recommend you check your kids to see if they have it and get rid of it,” he warned.
His post was shared over 800 times, with other parents sharing similar stories.
One mum got rid of the app after a similar situation: “I have had this experience too, my seven-year-old stepson had this game and he had people asking him things. Game is banned, he thought he was talking to friends from school.”
Another mum said she removed it from her daughter’s iPad, after “an online safety course at the school told us about it”.
“This is something I’ve seen with my own eyes. It’s literally turned my stomach”
But his post had some people accusing Mr Morrison of scaremongering.
“Shame about the sick people who play the game, shouldn’t be shut down though the way people are carrying on,” one wrote.
“They should implement a moderating system within the game to prevent things like this happening. You just need to keep an extra eye on your kids.”
Mr Morrison said he “110 per cent thought it would be so easy for these people to use the game to groom kids”.
“This is something I’ve seen with my own eyes. It’s literally turned my stomach,” he says.
“I spoke to more than one of the weirdos within 15 minutes, if there is one or fifty on there, I couldn’t care less.”
Roblox has published advice for parents on its website which details ways to keep kids safe.
The game allows an account to block other users that may be harassing, bullying or spamming, regardless of age. For more information on this, click here.
Roblox spokesman said the safety of its community was a top priority and they’re constantly assessing and improving our trust and safety measures.
The site has several safeguards including chat filtering where a system finds and flags inappropriate language.
For users that are under the age of 13, these filters are set to block any sharing of personal identifiable information.
“We continually fine tune this software to detect and block new and creative ways to message inappropriately,” he said.
The site also has optional friend filtering. All accounts for users that are under the age of 13 are set to only communicate with friends.
The spokesman said this is all backed up by a moderator network that uses an in-house team to review every image, audio, and video file that is uploaded to our site or into any of our games.
If users or their parents are witnessing any bad behaviour in the game, we urge them to flag the ‘abuse report’ function in the game so that these participants can be handled by the Roblox team.
If parents have questions or suggestions. They can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on choosing movies and games for kids visit the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.