Yes. It’s a slow news day for me:
New Zealand researchers say bricks with weapons have steadily become more commonplace and are now included in 30% of Lego kits.
The study said Lego reflected a broader trend in children’s entertainment.
Lego says weapons are always used for a wider purpose such as saving the world, and are part of a child’s development.In a peer-reviewed study published by the online journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the University of Canterbury concluded that Lego “showed significant exponential increases of violence over time”, with a higher proportion of weapons appearing among Lego’s building blocks and themed kits.
Lego’s first weapons were issued in 1978 when a castle kit included swords, axes and lances.
“The Lego company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be,” lead researcher Christoph Bartneck said.
“The violence in Lego products seems to have gone beyond just enriching game play,” he added.
An analysis of Lego catalogues from 1973 to 2015 found the scenarios depicted had also become more violent, with 40% of all pages containing some type of violence such as shooting or threatening behaviour.
1. That there is anything wrong with fantasy toy weapons.
2. The biased research.
Since 1978, aside from “swords, axes, lances, guns,” you know what else has increased? All sorts of minifigure accessories like food items, kitchen utensils, farming tools, etc. The Lego universe has simply evolved and expanded with a larger choice of specialized pieces over the decades.
Legos haven’t simply gotten “more violent”. They’ve gotten “more everything”. Lots of themes and pieces that didn’t exist in previous decades.
Back “in the old days”, we simply had to use the bricks to build our own weapons.
Image source for the gif.
Remember when a 6 year old caused an “uproar” when he “brandished” a Lego gun aboard the school bus? To recap, here’s the gun:
Scary, scary stuff. The hyperventilating fear-mongering from the PC left, I mean.
Lego play isn’t making kids any more violent by acting out fantasy fights with brick pieces. In the absence of toy weapons, kids will use anything, from pop tarts down to shaping their hand and finger into a gun in order to play cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, good guys and bad guys.
Another “peer reviewed study” could find Legos have gotten more feminized, with sets that didn’t also exist in 1978:
In an act of full disclosure: I love Legos. I still collect certain sets to this day and it’s the one toy from my childhood that I still have kept. This includes hand me down pieces from the 60s.
Here are a few pix from my violent collection: