Parsons School of Design students will soon be able to take a Roblox course as part of their studies.
The class will “explore the intricate relationship between digital and physical fashion set in an immersive future” and teach Parsons students how to create 3D digital fashion using Roblox tools. Though it’s led by Parsons faculty, it’s created in collaboration with the gaming giant, with Roblox representatives in marketing, creative, and education collaborating with Parsons.
Designing and dressing a digital avatar is a huge part of playing Roblox games. In the avatar shop, players can purchase anything from sneakers to designer gowns to outfit their in-game self, sometimes shelling out thousands of real-life dollars to buy digital items. What an avatar is wearing can be equal parts self-expression and status signaling — much like getting dressed IRL is.
In the new Roblox course, Parsons students will research and prototype digital and physical clothing, ultimately culminating in selling items at Parsons and in the Roblox marketplace.
Teaching design students how to use Roblox tools formalizes a key part of the platform: Roblox experiences are user-generated, meaning games, clothing, and other items are made by independent developers and studios. The people creating Roblox games and items range from breakout success stories making seven figures on Roblox to young hobbyists who never end up profiting — but both benefit the company, keeping players engaged through an endless stream of “experiences.”
The Parsons course will run for 16 weeks beginning in the spring 2023 semester and was announced in tandem with a metaverse fashion report produced by Roblox and Parsons.