Roblox is largely the company to thank for the metaverse craze that has spread throughout tech, gaming, VR and AR in 2021. It also wants to be a pioneer and leader in terms of digital safety for these kinds of immersive worlds, an ambition that’s only going to become more challenging as its millions-strong user base grows.
On Tuesday, Roblox announced a new initiative intended to help address potential safety and moderation problems before they become an issue: age verification. When Roblox rolls out spatial voice features later this year, letting users playing together hear one another even if they haven’t chosen to opt into a chat together, it will be available for “early access” only to those who’ve verified that they are 13 or older. That’s a brave move on Roblox’s part, as more than half of its user base are younger than 13.