Online dating (ODing) is the practice of searching for a romantic or sexual partner on the Internet. People who online date are most commonly known as online daters (ODers). Online dating is strongly discouraged by various Internet communities that do not intend to facilitate it, including Roblox. Online dating is against Roblox's rules of conduct, and anyone who participates in said activities risks punishment to their account (as stated by the Terms of Service). Despite this, ODing is still assumed to be widespread by some users.
Throughout Roblox's development, multiple stereotypes have formed regarding online daters. Players often stereotype online daters as those whose avatars dress as realistically or 'trendy' as possible; certain bundles, accessories, faces, and clothing are stereotyped as 'ODer items'. Players who wear these items are often perceived as online daters, even if they are far from the actual definition. Some examples of the most commonly stereotyped items include Frost Guard General, Holiday Crown, and Bear Face Mask. Certain username styles such as 'ii', 'xx'/'xX'/'Xx', 'Omq', 'itz' 12x43 and substituting vowels with the letter 'x' (e.g. using 'hxtbxy8586' instead of 'hotboy8586') also tend to be stereotyped with online daters, along with players that dress like a very tall or short person. (Note: People that are roleplaying with their friends that they know in real life is NOT online dating.)
On Roblox, online dating is usually restricted to life-simulation roleplay games such as Raise a Family. It is quite harmless when the participating players use innocuous language, but issues can arise if this progresses to inappropriate or sexual talk (especially given that the vast majority of players are under the age of 18).
In some instances, personal information may also be exchanged. Roblox's chat filter is designed to prevent this by censoring most methods of sharing information that can be used to identify oneself. However, online daters may attempt to find ways around this by altering their words or by requesting that the other party communicates with them through an offsite venue/website, such as Discord.
Against online dating
Online dating, according to most people, is a problem on Roblox. It is unwanted by most in the community and encouraged by very few people:
- It is against the Community Guidelines.
- Many players view it as two children of different ages who know nothing about it, and there is the possibility of older people attempting to OD.
- Most of the community views being attracted to Roblox characters as bizarre and repulsive due to their blocky appearance.
Aside from not fitting in with the kid-friendly nature of Roblox, there are risks associated with online dating given the anonymity on the platform (for example, some online daters are people trying to catfish others or child predators that are looking to prey on children). Many YouTubers and prominent community members are against online dating.
Against vigilante approach to online daters
On the other hand, some players have criticized people who argue about this topic on the website. While it is universally agreed across the platform that Roblox is not a place to form romantic relationships, this side of the argument believes the issue is heavily exaggerated and melodramatic. They feel that most instances rarely ever escalate past a game server and that the chances of actual predators being present are significantly lower than some make it out to be. Additionally, the stereotyping of certain accessories and other cosmetic items as "ODer items" is seen as immature and shortsighted, and that it often leads to more bullying, harassment, and overall harm as opposed to good. It is widely believed that these vigilantes pressured Roblox to create an anti-ODer policy (older Roblox players have said this in regards to the rules).
Games stereotyped with Online Daters
Though Roblox's Rules of Conduct prohibit builders from creating games that are designed for players to get together romantically, there are some loopholes to this rule; though a game may not be intended to be used romantically. Such examples of common online dating hotspots include roleplay games, club games, "Girls/Boys Only" games, middle/high school/college games, and adoption games. A game which often attracts online daters but does not fit this stereotype is Mocap Animations, where people can dance with people in sync.
Places themed after clubs are also prone to online daters and players who wish to engage in lewd or otherwise lewd acts in-game. For games that might hint at online dating potential, game creators might often leave game names and descriptions vague to 'satisfy' Roblox's game creation policies. For instance, naming a place Create a Family could imply that some sexual acts could be performed in the game as a way to produce the child. This violates Roblox's place creation policies.
Naming a game Adopt a Baby would not imply any lewd content within the game and would be an allowed game. This allows games titled Adopt and Raise a Baby to be on the front page without being taken down immediately for mature content, even if players utilize that game to online date. However, some of these games may be put under review eventually, when enough players have reported the game.
Because of the issues with online dating within Roblox games, anti-online dating scripts have been created by game creators and scripters that reprimand users who post specific prohibited words. One of these users, Person299, a user famous for his admin command scripts, has developed a script that kicks a player if they say a certain word twice.
The Termination of Tremity and Games_Page
On December 6, 2017, Tremity and his alt Games_Page were terminated. A day later, people who joined Tremity's "Adopt and Raise a Cute Kid" game were teleported to a copied version of the game. A few hours after that, the original and copied versions of the game were shut down. The termination of Tremity received critical praise from both anti-ODers and other players, as they believe it could be a sign of Roblox taking action to prevent online dating. He attempted to make a return as ripTremity0 in July 2018, however it was quickly terminated.
YouTube and anti-ODing
Many popular Roblox YouTubers attempt to disrupt online daters by trolling them with methods such as using admin commands or exploiting and aiming to cause drama between them by intentionally starting arguments or being irritating, however not all of the time. For certain YouTubers like mrflimflam, these videos also serve as one of their main types of content. Others such as KonekoKitten do not condone online dating, but also discourage trolling as they believe it only makes ODers want to continue out of spite.