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The Serious Side of Play

"The kids are just imitating what they've seen adults doing," he said. "They don't understand . . ."

"They don't have to understand. Even the games they play are preparing them for their future—and that future will come whether they understand it or not."
Octavia Butler, Kindred (p.99)
As this dialog from Butler's novel suggests, child's play can be a serious thing. Play offers clues to a child's past and present and often predicts where that child might head. Of course, Butler's brilliant insight gains resonance in its context, because it describes the children of slaves playing at selling each other at a slave market.

Therefore, we really need to ask ourselves if we want to give this sort of thing to our children to play with. I don't know what creeps me out more: that it's a toy ATM or that its model is named YOUniverse.

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