When I was 13, I went on a vacation to Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio. I was utterly bored out of my mind among the company of my three siblings, some family friends and a plethora of gossiping adults.
It was quite a while until the adults were ready to bring us out of our comfortable hotel rooms and into the humid and crowded indoor waterpark full of screaming toddlers and unsanitary, moist beach chairs.
Before I was ready to jump from the couch and sprint out of the room down to the park unsupervised, one of the other children suggested we download this super fun, totally cool game from the App Store on our assorted iPads and iPad Minis.
Imagine a Frankenstein’s monster of both LEGO’s art style and Minecraft’s game mechanics, and there you have it. This absolute beast of a game: Roblox.
2015 holds many memories for me. I was starting my last year of middle school, beginning to take my first courses for high school credit and becoming a bonafide gamer girl.
That is probably an overstatement. No one was particularly jealous of my “Natural Disaster” or “Speed Run 4” skills. However, I can boast about my absolutely cracked movement in “Mega Easy Obby.”
These are just a select few of the games available on Roblox’s massive catalogue. Many of these games involve moving right, left, forward and back, jumping, using interact buttons and turning on shift lock — this is essential if you want to master scaling walls and jumping on miniature blocks.
The endless deluge of individual games are listed in helpful, organized categories. Some genres include obstacle courses — “obbys” for short — first-person shooter, or FPS, roleplay and simulation, horror and many others.
During my time at Kalahari, I dipped my toes in less intensive, simpler games including the aforementioned “Natural Disaster,” an absolute classic when talking about Roblox. In this game, the player spawns in a random map and an undisclosed natural disaster occurs. The objective is to climb, hide or run in any direction and height possible to evade a tornado, thunderstorm, tsunami or any other life-threatening phenomenon.
The other family friends also showed me “Work at a Pizza Place,” which is a game where players become employees at a pizza delivery store. Players can choose jobs such as cashier, cook, delivery driver or even manager. A fully employed and willing crew is necessary if one wishes to have productive workdays, but such a lobby is difficult to come by. This game was actually the precursor to my fast food part-time job I held many years later. Roblox helped me at work, oddly enough.
Before Roblox, I never played any multiplayer games with other people, and I never felt the endorphin rush that a 30 frames-per-second, slightly laggy, very graphically disappointing game like Roblox provided.
Compared to other kids who played “Call of Duty” or “Mortal Kombat” on the Xbox or PlayStation, I was casually acquainted with the GameCube and the sketchy websites that had hundreds of interchangeable Flash games. Roblox was an astounding paradise of the utmost premium assortment of arcade games. I could finally live the gaming experience on a budget-friendly gaming desk I dreamed to indulge in as an 8-year-old. Even after I came home from that Thanksgiving vacation, I continued venturing on the Roblox app on my iPad and later on my phone and laptop. I progressed in various obbys, tried out tycoon games — games where you collect incessantly growing money at a button and purchase more items in-game — and garnered many paychecks in “Work at a Pizza Place.”
I began playing with friends at school, my sisters at home and online friends as well. Roblox was not just a children’s game. It was a community platform with awesome, stress-relieving games after a long day’s work.
You don’t need to hold back. It must be weird to see a college freshman still playing and enjoying Roblox — a game made for children who have yet to learn how to drive or do algebra or maybe even tie their sneakers.
However, I will probably be an active Roblox player until CEO David Baszucki pries my overheated laptop out of my relentless hands. Just seeing the Roblox logo quickens my heartbeat, propelling my left hand’s fingers to the WASD keys and my right hand to my tragically battered wireless mouse.
Roblox — their brand, their stock, which I made sure to dedicatedly invest in, and their merchandise — definitely succeeded in their goals to take hold of the children-to-young-teenagers demographic. And yes, I am still a young teenager.
So, here I am in college. However, some parts of my juvenile self remain. When it comes to Roblox, I’ll always feel like that 13-year-old kid who discovered it for the first time in an Ohio water resort.