Lego, the maker of the colorful interlocking plastic bricks for kids, is not anymore as child-friendly as what it used to be. A new study claimed that the products of the world's leading toy company are becoming more violent to keep on attracting children's attention in the digital age.
More Lego Toys Depict Violence
In a study published on Monday by the online journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand claimed that Lego toys are becoming more and more violent as the toy company engages in an "arms race" with other toymakers. The researchers said that Lego has been increasingly releasing building blocks showing weapons and themed kit sets featuring war-like scenarios.
"The Lego company's products are not as innocent as they used to be," lead researcher Christoph Bartneck told The Telegraph. "The violence in Lego products seems to have gone beyond just enriching game play."
According to the study, Lego, which was founded in 1949, started to produce building blocks showing weapons like swords, axes and lances in 1978. Since then, the Denmark-based toy company's products had turned more and more violent.
The researchers found that almost 30 percent of the present Lego kits are depicting weapons and war-like scenarios. They also examined Lego catalogues from 1973 to 2015 and discovered that 40 percent of all pages of the current catalogues showed some violence.
Why Lego Toys Become More Violent
The researchers said that the atmosphere of the violent acts has been largely perceived as exciting and this could be a reason why Lego toys have turned more violent throughout the years. They added that the toy company's move was a reflection of a broader trend in kids' entertainment in the digital age.
According to BBC News, Lego spokesman Troy Taylor told the AFP news agency that the toy company's products cover various play activities including construction, fantasy and conflict. "As with other play types, conflict play is a natural part of a child's development. We always try and use humor where possible as it helps tone down the level of conflict," Taylor explained.
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