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Players in ‘Roblox’ are joining digital pro-Palestine rallies

Players in Roblox are joining digital pro Palestine rallies

Amid the ongoing escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, gamers who cannot participate in real-life protests are turning to digital spaces to show their support against war and human suffering.

Players of the popular online game ‘Roblox’ have participated in pro-Palestine digital protests. According to a report from Mashable, players who are too young to protest in person have taken to the game’s digital streets to make their voices heard.

A user-created experience on the Roblox platform provides an online space for young gamers to participate in activism. The experience appears to have been created by a Malaysian gamer who has around 200,000 followers on TikTok. Videos posted on X and TikTok show large groups of players holding Palestinian flags gathered at the game to protest.

This experience on Roblox alone has had more than 27,000 visits since it was created on October 14th. When players enter the digital space they are greeted by a large Palestinian flag, floating in a moat surrounding a community square. Big letters in the water say “We love Palestine”. Large banners in the square read “Solidarity untukmu Palestine” or “Solidarity for you Palestine” with the date October 21, 2023.

A donation chart lists the players and the amounts they donated, although it is unclear who the recipient of the donations is. The top donor in October contributed 2,250 Robux or about US$28. Most donations are in much smaller amounts, like 10 and 50 Robux, and end up suggesting that the activists may be children without much financial power. A truly dystopian novelty that indicates an increasingly digital and metaverse future.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that players have used digital platforms to express their political opinions. In May 2021, players used Minecraft to recreate a virtual version of Hong Kong’s Victoria Park after authorities banned an annual vigil honoring victims of China’s Tiananmen Square massacre.

Roblox is an online gaming platform and game creation tool with blocky character models and rudimentary graphics that encourage players to create their own “games” and then share those codes so others can participate. In 2021, an average of 67 million people logged into Roblox every day.

Regardless of ‘your side of the coin’, it is encouraging to see young people using their creativity and passion for social justice causes. It’s also a reminder that activism can take many forms and that every voice counts.

A spokesperson for Roblox Corporation commented:

We are deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy unfolding in Israel and Gaza, and our hearts go out to those who are impacted in the area or who have loved ones, family and friends in the region. While our Community Standards allow for expressions of solidarity, we do not allow for content that endorses or condones violence, promotes terrorism or hatred against individuals or groups, or calls for supporting a specific political party. We have an expert team of thousands of moderators along with automated detection tools in place to monitor our platform and will take swift action against any content or individuals found to be in violation of our standards. We also encourage anyone to report content or behavior that may not comply with our Community Standards by using our Report Abuse feature.

Welcome to the 21st century.

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