Lego is once again being accused of ruining our children by encouraging violent play, with updated research finding that around 30 per cent of all modern Lego sets now come with some sort of shooting/stabbing implement in the box.
"Lego products have become significantly more violent," says the report. "This increase is not in line with their policy that 'Lego products aim to discourage pretend violence as a primary play incentive. The designs are meant to enrich play with engaging conflict scenarios where aggression might be used for the purpose of overcoming imaginary evil.' The violence in Lego products seems to have gone beyond just enriching game play."
The team at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand has the graphs to back it up, saying that the violence depicted within today's range of sets continues to increase, and warns that Lego is not as "innocent" as it once used to be back in the days before gang warfare and revenge killing took over as the top play activities of the under-12s.
And the catalogues are even worse, with the researcher saying that around 40 per cent of the activities shown include some sort of weapon or threatening activity, as the frowning minifigs of today stage arrests, bank robberies, fights, general yellow fist waving, drive-by assassinations of prominent Duplo figures and more. Here's the data of shame that could be driving YOUR child to war:
Head researcher Christoph Bartneck said of the changes Lego has undergone in recent years: "The atmosphere of the violent acts is predominantly perceived as exciting" by a generation totally desensitised to aggression by CG superhero warfare and footballers. [PLOS ONE via Guardian]