Jan 22, 2021
ep39: Favorite childhood toys or the aesthetics of toys
Chris and Randall discuss the aesthetics of toys through the lens of their favorite childhood toys.
MIT paper on toy design which incorporates Piaget's stages of
Wikipedia's toy article
Randall's aesthetic toy categories:
Physics toys: Balls, construction sets, blocks. These toys allow kids to understand the properties of the physical world.
Arts/crafts: Drawing, sculpture. These toys help kids understand themselves better and allow them to communicate with the outside world.
The adult artist creates for similar reasons as the child artist. When a child has poor access to language, arts and crafts become more
Games/puzzles: These toys allow children to explore abstract concepts and invisible rules and forces. They allow children and adults a level of
social interaction that is otherwise unobtainable. Problem solving is involved as well, social skills, negotiation, communication.
Dolls: This includes any scale models, figures, toy cars, action figures, etc. Children are trying to learn about the world by modelling and
simulating it. What is a child doing when playing with a doll or toy car? They are creating a simulation of the universe. They are probing it
from different angles, seeing what happens when they perform different actions. Kids who play with dolls activate their social brain. Just like a
scientist creates a simulation to understand the weather, a child creates a simulation to understand the world. World building is frequently the
ultimate activity of childhood play.
Piaget's Stages of Development as they relate to toys
Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone
Toy Story (1995)
Harry Harlow's experiments
Tinkertoy Construction Set
Toys "R" Us
Dungeons & Dragons
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots
Randall's aesthetic categories (see above)
Chris' giant train set
remote control boat, plane, rocket
Bop Bop 'n Rebop
Etch A Sketch
Magic: The Gathering
Six Million Dollar Man
Star Wars (movies)
Planet of the Apes (movies)
Knott's Berry Farm
soldier vs princess
toys as brain hack
recorded October 5, 2020
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