Unlike what happened years ago, toys of today compete with consoles, tablets and smartphones to entertain our children. And apparently, in this quest for attention in a digital era, some toys that accompany us for decades have become more aggressive.
This is the case of Lego toys, which according to a study conducted by a team from the University of Canterbury, they are increasingly violent. The researchers say that increasingly there are more weapons in the Danish brand products and are increasingly more inspired on war issues, causing the children to play in a more violent way.
More and more weapons in the Lego
“The Lego company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be (…)” The violence of Lego products appears to have gone beyond the playability improvement”, says the lead investigator for the study, Christoph Bartneck.
To say this, they studied two variables. On the one hand, the frequency with which children are weapons Lego boxes, and on the other, the violence seen in catalogs Lego products between the years 1978 and 2014.
Below we can see a picture with the proportion of Lego toys that include weapons (swords, guns, cannons, etc), whether well as spares or within a set. The odds that a Lego set contains weapons increased exponentially each year up to reach almost 30% in 2014.
As for the catalogues of products of Lego company produced once or twice a year since 1950, they considered them a super tool to analyze the concept of violence the context of game scenarios.
Games more violent, children more violent?
Does this somehow influence the development of the personality of our children? Can the design of toys, in some way, encourage violent behaviors in children?
According to a study on the effects of weapons as a toy in the behavior of children, found that the toy guns were correlated with a higher rate of antisocial behavior in children compared with non-violent toys.
However, on the other hand, research says that playful aggression is very beneficial for the development of the child. In other words, a child play with weapons It does not mean that it will become an aggressive child. The main factor is to distinguish serious aggressive behavior of a playful aggressive behavior. Toys are instruments of the game and what it will make children aggressive or it will not be in the supervision of the game and the education that we give at home.
In the same vein, José Antonio Pastor, President of the Spanish Association of toy manufacturers declared to the world at beginning of year”There is no violent toys and pacifist toys, the violent or pacifist attitudes are”.
According to the researchers of the study, it is not an exclusive matter of Lego, but that is a general tendency of the market of entertainment for children.
In response to the results of the study, the spokesman for the Lego, Troy Taylor, explained that “as other types of games, the conflict is a natural part of childhood development (…) We always try and use humor when it is possible to reduce the level of conflict.” Add Lego products include all kinds of activities such as construction, the fantasy… and also the conflict.
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