As the virtual world increasingly dominates children’s play, Lego is the last game in the real world – I can live with it a bit militarization
Something strange is happening in the toy industry, as a short walk through the aisles at your local Toys R Us will reveal. The first clue is that the place may seem almost empty. The second clue is that the toys seem to be largely absent as well.
Yes, there are a few chunks of board games, some villages of Sylvanian creatures, and other clever things to do with wool and paper. But the large acres of these camps appear to consist largely of film and TV tie-ins. If your imagination extends as far as a Star Wars lightsaber or a minion from Despicable Me, then the toy manufacturers of the Far East can oblige you to do so. In addition, well, nothing much.
And at the same time, the real world of children has been hollowed out by the virtual world, most games instantly download without reference to the high street or the out-of-town shopping centers.
The boxes of toys are at home. In their places are the massive Xboxes, Nintendo Wiis and PlayStations that allow your kids to kill 30 or 40 people a virtual automatic weapons session. A new rift in child rearing has arisen – not the chest against the bottle feeder or the discipline compared to the liberals – but between those who worry about this trend and those who are not relegated.
There are those of us – and I am one of them – who fear that constant exile, shiny, perfect world of online gaming is a type of addiction, and the one that sooner or later can lead to depression (in fact you can play games that are supposed to help depression these days). There are those who fear that removing access to online gaming from their children will lead to a reaction a bit like bilbos if the ring is stripped.
Also, alongside the virtualization of Kinderstück came the militarization, shaped by the futurologist John Naisbitt’s once-so-called military Nintendo complex – the strange, but still unproven, resource sharing between the two worlds that has resulted in games like Call of Duty , (Yes, I know that Activision’s Call of Duty is actually made.)
A game in the real world, what is left, not just standing, but growing and thriving, is Lego. Like its online equivalent, Minecraft, you can do almost anything you want with Lego – you can take the bits of the pieces out of a Star Wars spaceship and fuse them with a dragon from the Hobbit if you want. Or not if you don’t.
So I’m ready to forgive the fact that Lego himself – its dodgy period around that year 2003 – Saving has also largely disappeared on the film and TV tie route. I am quite ready to follow the same militarization trend, now that New Zealand researchers have forgiven that almost a third of all Lego sets contain weapons.
The researchers called this one "exponential increases in violence over time" and it would be out of place in a Danish company with pacifist roots. But the truth is that children have always used Lego to make weapons. The flexibility of the system makes it possible.
That is what allows Lego to open up imaginative opportunities rather than closing them down when online games tend to limit them. I am ready when the hook for the relentless part of the real world let off steam (as stepping on a piece of Lego can prove at night).
I have two caveats. So it should be his arm’s length involvement with the miserable Legoland theme park in the UK from Merlin, which owns most of the theme parks in the UK with the unavoidable result was allowed to unravel that it operated ruinously expensive.
The same goes for Lego to buy. The Lego’s boxes have to be Hollywood franchise fees and were allowed to crawl in price because – well, it’s almost the last successful toy in the real world. So let’s hear it for Lego. It is one of those toys that I played (I’m 58) that my children are still playing with the same pieces – miraculously. OK, they’re mixed with bits of orcs from Lord of the Rings. Just keep it affordable, all right?
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