Toys and Product Longevity
Authors: Tore Gulden
Abstract: This article explores how a child’s personalization of play themes is connected to the experience of play and furthermore how such creative activity can influence feelings toward toys, and subsequently how this affects the degree of pleasure elicited by play, and finally how this influences the toys’ longevity. The basis for the study is an experiment performed with children from 6 to 9 years old, where situations of purchase and play, were observed. The empirical data is explored within the framework of pragmatist aesthetics and Art as Experience by John Dewey. This analysis brought forth the following key factors for classification: intellectual classification, recognition, resistance, and creation of personal experience. The analysis suggests that there is a tendency for children not to create their own play theme when a new toy is presented through associated media that proposes a theme for the play activity. Furthermore, it is suggested that the personalization of play themes enables the child to create personal experiences, a factor that contributes to a higher degree of pleasure, which can delay the child’s desire to replace the toy. Implications for designers: create toys that let the child in on the process of creating and altering play themes.
Keywords: Personalization of Play Themes, Transmedia Storytelling, Product Longevity
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