Computer games hadn’t been invented when I were a lad.
Come to think of it, neither had computers.
I used to while away the hours playing with my toy soldiers and model aeroplanes.
I had hundreds, if not thousands, of centimeter-high military figurines all vying for supremacy on the living room carpet: Paras; commandos; stormtroopers; gurkhas; chindits… you name it, they all fought on the beaches [rug] of Normandy [sofa].
Now, I know things have moved on a bit since then what with all the incredibly sophisticated graphics on computer games, that I suppose pretending your sister’s dolls’ house is an impregnable German fortress seems positively kid’s stuff.
But my point is, that whilst computer games have incredible cgi and complex storylines, they do spoon-feed the player. The player may think they’re in control of an elite squad of navy seals, but they are, in fact, just being lead down a labyrinth of computer code like lambs to the slaughter.
Playing with soldiers on the rug required imagination. You were in control. You made up the story. You decide what happens. Are computer games actually stifling kids’ imaginations?
Obviously, the super-intense scenarios weren’t there – or were they?
You see, when I played, I didn’t see a cushion or a sideboard, I saw a hill and a bunker. My imagination filled in the gaps.
So it got me thinking about whether I could do an ad campaign to resurrect these tiny little plastic armies to appeal to today’s kids.
Not to replace computer games, just to be an alternative.
(This is where some mums and dads object to promoting toys that encourage violent behaviour. Well I say: Come down ‘ere and say that yer shandy-drinking tree huggers! Never did me any harm.)
Whilst my idea isn’t based on research of the target audience, it is based on the insights of someone who’s played both.
I love the illustrations on the packaging as this, to me, accurately depicts what the child imagines. While the headlines juxtapose the dramatic imagery with the real-life environment the game would actually be played in such as a bedroom, living room etc.