KUALA LUMPUR, 22.12.2021 – Gaming company Roblox has taken the world by storm. With over 40 million active users on the platform daily, the online game platform has gained mainstream attention in 2021. Which begs the question, why exactly is it so popular?
Roblox was originally developed as a game creation system by Roblox Corporation. It allows users to program and create their own games where players can socialize and interact in a virtual 3D world. However, what really sets it apart from other games is how it allows users to monetize their games – ranging from dressing up games to pet simulators, first-person shooting games, or their own version of Squid Game.
Its feature that allowed for players to connect and interact online lead to having over 20 million games published on the platform. Additionally, its functionality in allowing users to create avatars of themselves that can be navigated throughout the entire Roblox universe is consistent with the goal of the ‘Metaverse’. Although still an early concept of the virtual world, this makes the game company one of the earliest leaders to play a major role in the emergence of the Metaverse.
Hence, expanding to education in metaverse is key to making that happen.
“There is a huge opportunity to leverage on the engagement and motivation that students have for interacting with Roblox,” Rebecca Kantar said, Head of Education of the Roblox Community Fund.
“We’re ready to find and reward developers and organizations who can figure out how to really lean into our great physics, immersive 3D capabilities, and multiplayer experiences to teach in a deeper way,” she said.
This could also lead to the creation of virtual classrooms that take place within the Roblox universe, as well as entirely new ways of teaching students how to read, learn, and collaborate real-time on virtual science experiments.
The new Roblox Community Fund announced the allocation of a 10 million fund to support the creation of online education in the Metaverse to utilize the platform’s unique way of letting users interact, socialize, and create their own virtual world.
“For now, we plan to use Roblox Studio as a computer science educational tool while also encouraging the development of curricular materials for topics that can be taught in immersive and interactive 3D environments,” Kantar said.
The company’s focus lies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. One of the fund’s first initiative is their collaboration with Project Lead The Way (PLTW).
An Indianapolis-based nonprofit that provides training for hands-on STEM education to US schools, PLTW plans to expand its existing module for game design and development in Roblox Studio. Furthermore, the organization will also work with Roblox developers to create a new “in-Roblox” world where users can explore careers in Computer Science, Engineering, and Biomedical Science.
“Students no longer need to be tethered to a physical classroom to learn,” said Vince Bertram, president and CEO of Project Lead The Way. “By connecting the platform with leading experts in education, we believe Roblox and PLTW are on course to transform the way students learn in the metaverse.”
As Kantar puts it, education in the metaverse might not be so far away.
“Roblox Education will be a self-sustaining ecosystem, where education organizations are constantly building and releasing new content on Roblox,” she stated. “Increasingly, we expect this to be organic growth, where everyone is teaching and learning in the metaverse.”
Education has come a long way. From its transition to online learning, advancing virtual and augmented reality to accelerate online classes, and creating virtual study abroad experiences, the face of education has drastically shifted from its roots ten years ago.
Eduloco is Asia’s leading study abroad platform that assists students to apply to top-ranking universities overseas.