Young Students May Be Returning to More Make-Believe Play

A recent article in The Atlantic has made an interesting prediction about the resurgence of make-believe play based on the success of Pokémon Go. The thesis is  largely based on an interview with Devon Lyon, a media producer in Portland, Oregon, an expert in Augmented-Reality (AR) games and imagination.

The article begins with an anecdote about Diane Levin, a professor at Wheelock College in Boston who teaches a course called “Meaning and Development of Play.” Each semester, Levin’s students interview people about how they played when they were children: People over age 50 played outside all day with groups of friends, a ball, and no grown-up supervision; the 20- to 40-year olds still played outside, often playing make-believe games inspired by TV shows and movies; those under 20, hardly play. If they have friends over, it’s often playing video games.

With future games, Lyon foresees a welcome return to imaginative play. But he urges developers to involve children from the get-go.

“I guarantee you they’re going to have insights into what they think will be fun,” Lyon told The Atlantic.  Writes The Atlantic: Lyon talked about a virtual-reality game that lets children paint a character onto a snowman template. When Lyon and some other grown-ups tested the game, they focused on painting the outside of the snowman. His 9-year-old daughter was the only one who thought to crawl inside the character and paint a heart.

You can read the full article by clicking here.