The image from a parenting blog,
presented in TMA 02, part A, shows two boys dressed in home- made costumes
similar with costumes from the popular film series “Star Wars”. They are show us playing with commercially
produced light toys from the same series. Children incorporate media influence
into their play. Playground games reflect the circulation of media production
and promotion. Children influenced by media and the personages from popular
series create their playground. Elizabeth
Grugeon’s (2001) “work on playground cultures illustrates processes of
continuity and change”.
can be a social activity or a solitary pastime in which children create their
own meanings and develop a sense of identity. Ready-made toys are not necessary
to play but the mass-media production and marketing of toys has entered deeply
into children’s culture. Commercially produced toys form a significant part of
children’s worlds. Studies of playground cultures illustrate processes of
historical continuity and cultural change. Product marketing addresses to children have
increased the interest in child consumers. Marketing promote the sale of goods.
The principals’ consumers are children. They are vulnerable, especial the
younger, because they cannot understand the persuasive intent of marketing
strategies. Digital interactive technologies create a growing media space for
children’s product. Theory of children
cognitive development outline how marketing affects children, based on
influences and differences in children’s understanding of commercial content.
The exposure to advertising and marketing affects behaviour.( Stephen Kline,
1993). The cultural historian Garry Cross, distinguishes between two different
ideas of childhood innocence: the first stresses purity, and keeping children
away from all aspects of the adults world; the second – emphasises children’s
innocence. He argued that the second idea as goals of consumer capitalism.
During childhood there
is a dramatic development that involves biological, physiological,
psychological and social changes. Interaction – plays a very important role in
the development of children. Playing for children is a deliberate activity that
requires engagement, commitment and effort. Most social interaction
opportunities occur during the play. The play is considered a strategy of
smashing and imitation. The benefits of the play include: intellectual
development, social development, performance and improved skills. There is a
controversy about whether mass media and modern technology have a positive or
negative influence on child development. The key methods used by companies to
persuade children to buy or solicit certain products, including the use of
promotional items, toys, such as celebrities or cartoon characters or movies.
The requests are influenced by these marketing strategies. Stores are full of
toys, turtle ninja, transformer robots and Batman. These heroes cause children
aggressive fantasies, which are actually transposed to the weakest: animals or
children. Toy “schedules” the child’s behaviour. It is very important
to understand how it works on child development. Specialists believe the toy
give information like the newspaper or internet for an adult. Toy plays a very
important role in the child’s psyche and the development of the personality.
Being passionate about the toy, the child identifies with it and imitates the
behaviour of the character. If it is a negative character, the child can become
In the image, are show
us two young children (boys) of the
young age who wear suits and swords that imitate the personages of the well-
known Star Wars series. The place where the two children are playing is the
garden of a home. The clothes are manually made to imitate the costumes of the
heroes in the film. Toys are serial products, copies of Star Wars weapons,
purchased from shopping centres in toy stores.
The traditional plays, according to the
age of children have been replaced by a play inspired by a film in which the
heroes fight among themselves to prove the power. Traditional plays that help
children to develop a normal educational purpose. “Traditional values,
discipline and patterns of social relations are being lost”(Chapter 2, p91).
Children’s access to mass media, movies,
magazines, advertising, the internet can steadily influence the development of
children and the way they practice, imitate what they see. Children have the
ability to create imaginative places and characters to authenticate during the
game, so we need to be extremely careful about what influences choices made by
our children. Cohen (1992) observed of the fantasy worlds of children is a
common phenomenon of childhood in the early ages and it is end in the
adolescence age. When the child is at the growing age and has no complete
discernment to make a difference between what is good and what is not, we as
parents have an obligation to involve children in educational games that have a
beneficial role in child development and appropriate to their age.