Tami Bhaumik: The Future of Digital Play

For the fourth part of this series, we asked experts to focus their predictions on digital play by answering the question, “How will the way children play with digital media change in the coming months and/or years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?”

The future of play is…bringing the world together

As VP of Digital Civility for Roblox, Tami Bhaumik leads Roblox’s groundbreaking digital civility initiative focused on providing kids, teens, parents, and caregivers with the skills needed to create positive online experiences, in partnership with the world’s leading safety and industry organizations.

COVID-19 has irreversibly changed the way that kids, teens, and their parents interact with the digital world. Screen time has become ubiquitous and a way of life where the question of “too much” is irrelevant.

Social distancing has made platforms like Roblox even more critical to enable human connection. We know that kids and teens on Roblox are especially resilient as it’s natural for them to lean into online play to connect with others and express their emotions through creation. Witnessing the platform’s integral role in supporting their mental wellbeing, we’re learning a lot from kids and teens as they use Roblox to replace milestone moments.

We find families creating virtual birthday celebrations that are more inclusive with no location or attendee boundaries and see no limits to the types of events that can be hosted online, from graduations to concerts.

Young people are also taking more responsibility for their own learning, for example, taking self-paced Learn & Explore Roblox courses to learn coding skills. This unique period is forcing parents to get more engaged and digitally savvy, thus, creating a dialogue with their kids that rarely existed before COVID-19.

We strongly believe that online play will have a leading role in the post-coronavirus world in bringing people together and shaping their social circles and knowledge. It will become the norm for meeting friends and learning together. Passive and active engagement in online play has been proven necessary for kids and teens to thrive during self-isolation, but in the future it will simply be an essential and integral part of raising resilient and savvy digital citizens.


See more posts in this series:

Voices on the Future of Childhood

J. Alison Bryant | Andrew Przybylski | Jesse Schell | Jordan Shapiro
Juan Rubio | Katie Salen Tekinbaş | Mitchel Resnick | Tami Bhaumik

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