Roblox Facing Criticism For Adding Controversial 'Roblox Connect' Voice Call Feature
When Roblox first announced the virtual call feature at the Roblox Developers Conference 2023 in September, it was expected to change how players connect in the sandbox game.
Roblox's CEO David Baszucki showcased the feature during his keynote speech at the event as he showed a live demonstration. The feature allowed players to capture motion via their camera and create a virtual avatar to make calls with other people in real-time.
However, it's been a day since the feature has been rolled out, and there are already concerns in the community about the potential dangers of the voice call feature.
Roblox Under Fire for Voice Call Feature
Roblox added the voice call feature via an update, which was accompanied by an official blog post.
"Today, we are excited to launch Roblox Connect and calling APIs for creators! We previewed this launch at RDC 145 in September. Connect is an experience on Roblox where users can call friends and have a conversation as their avatars – together in a shared immersive space."
Immersive communication enables a sense of being closer together, just like in real life, and in turn helps unlock deeper engagement in experiences. Since the launch of chat with voice, we've seen how adding communication capabilities to experiences increases frequency and deepens engagement with users.
We are opening up the technology that powers Roblox Connect to be fully open-sourced so that you can build synchronous voice and avatar communication into your experiences and drive further user engagement in new and exciting ways."
After the update was launched, it was soon hit with negative comments as the Roblox community rushed in to express their concerns surrounding its dangers.
"Wait wait wait, I thought this was supposed to be for 17+ players, not 13+ players? Unless I misunderstood something... what I mean to say is... this doesn't feel... right?"
"why did u guys think this was a good feature to add?"
"I don't think this is safe for Roblox because think about it, you might be friends with a 40 year old man and you might get asked your personal info. Now, it would be better if you were only allowed to call through shared contacts on Roblox."
The majority of the players are concerned with the dangers of allowing children to use the in-game feature, where the Roblox developers stated that only ages "13+" would be allowed access to the service.
The addition of the controversial feature comes days after Roblox was sued by multiple families over alleged failures to protect children from explicit content and safety.