We Robloxed So You Don’t Have To
If you want to see what the future of the internet looks like, peek over your kid’s shoulder while they’re using Roblox. The online platform is filled with free games, experiences, and social hangouts that are designed and built by its users. Curiously, those users are often children; Roblox has 65 million daily active users, and around half of them are under 17.
But as Roblox grows, its users are growing up, and the company is making moves to appeal to the changing interests of its aging audience. This week, the company announced it’s bringing animated video chat to its virtual world. The new feature aims to combine the interactions of apps like Zoom and FaceTime with the creative energy of a video game environment. The addition of video chat could also convince older users to buy a premium Roblox subscription or invest in Robux, the platform’s digital currency.
This week on Gadget Lab, we dive into the virtual world of Roblox and how the company's offerings are expanding to attract older users, evolve its culture, and create its own version of the metaverse.
Read Lauren’s story about Roblox introducing animated video chats to its platform. WIRED’s Will Knight has more about how Roblox is using generative AI. Follow all of WIRED’s coverage of Roblox and other video games.
Lauren recommends getting rid of all your extra cables and watching the show Jury Duty on Amazon Prime. Mike recommends Andrew Hickey’s podcast A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs, and ordering bitters and soda at a bar when you don’t want an alcoholic drink.
Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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