Roblox Corporation recently told The Verge that over half of kids in the US are now keeping in contact via Roblox. The global COVID-19 pandemic lead to sharp increases in active users throughout both March and April, totalling two thirds of all US children under the age of 16. Since then, the numbers have apparently continued to rise to reach their current all-time high of 120 million players.
Currently, Roblox is also beta-testing a system called “Party Place”—virtual social spaces players can use for meetups. Initially only available to Roblox’ own developers, the private Party Place servers first became cheaper to use for private events and are now set to be available entirely for free. On April 18, Roblox hosted its large One World virtual concert via Party Place.
Since the pandemic in the US has yet to show signs of slowing, it’s no surprise children are increasingly trying to find ways to spend time with their friends while social distancing. Roblox is a gaming platform offering several different games and game creation tools using its own programming language. It’s been around since 2004, and its most popular games have by now been played millions of times. Players can participate in racers, obstacles courses and more, largely geared towards younger players. Additionally, in-game items are available for purchase using Roblox’ currency called “Robux”.