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Move Over Boys, the Girls Want Your Video Games
So many young girls are now interested computer and video entertainment that modern games have now replaced dolls as the top toys for girls for the first time in over fifty years.
A new research study from the UK conducted by the E.ON Company, one of Britain’s leading power and gas supply companies, has come to the conclusion that just like the current generation of young boys who have turned their backs on traditional play toys in favor of the modern technology offered by iPods, Playstations and the Xbox, so many young girls in the UK are now interested computer and video games that modern games have now replaced dolls as the top toys for girls for the first time in half a century.
When the E.ON firm looked at what types of recreation most young children wanted to purchase in the coming year, it found that just like the boys, modern girls are far more interested in playing games on computers these days than playing games with their Barbie Dolls. The shift in children’s priorities has caused a definite sales slump for many of the traditional best-selling toys in the UK from the 1950s up to the late 1990s, including the popular Lego and Meccanno construction toys for boys and Barbie’s and Cabbage Patch dolls for the girls.
E.ON, found the move towards electronic toys started back in the 1980s with the Nintendo Game Boy console and has come full circle as electronic toys jumped from the fifth most popular toys in the 1980s to the number one toy choice for today’s modern kids of both sexes. The construction toys still rank second in overall popularity, but far behind electronic toys with just 18% of the children under age 16 (and mostly boys) in the UK saying construction toys were still their favorites. Although dolls are now far less popular among young girls, the dolls still rank as the third favorite overall toys with 16% of the children (mostly girls) now claiming dolls as their favorite toys.
However, sociologists and other family experts agree that dolls won't ever fall out of favor completely because they allow children to use the figures to play out the roles of different people in children’s fantasies, and the dolls help them play in ways that allow them to replicate the adult world. Today, electronic gadgets have replaced traditional toys for both boys and girls, and the total number of children who own electronic toys in the UK has more than tripled up to 34% since 1980. Some sociologists have noted that playing with electronic toys and computer games is a positive thing because today’s kids need to learn how to use more electronic devices in our increasingly computerized world. However, some also point to the danger that children could become over-reliant on the two-dimensional screen-based interactions of electronic games, and that kids need to also play with physical toys that they can arrange rearrange, construct and deconstruct in order to develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. As a result of this unstoppable trend toward more electronic toys, game developers are already hard at work on a new generation of fantasy and role-playing computer games designed especially for the girls.
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