A new version of the board game Monopoly that includes a tablet to digitally count your money, thereby eliminating a major "educational" aspect of the traditional game.
A new version of the Game of Life that replaces the traditional spinner with a tablet on which there is a digital facsimile of the same spinner, complete with the SOUND of spinning. Do I need to explain what is wrong with this?
And how about an app for the ipad on which your child can play with Hot Wheels cars? No, thankfully, it's not just a touch-screen game, but allows kids to "move plastic toys containing sensors around on the ipad." (Wow, use dad's ipad for a car track...now we're getting somewhere. Can we also use it for home plate?)
For some reason, this way of playing Hot Wheels doesn't reflect my memory of assembling the Hot Wheels Big Loop and watching my cars fall off of it 146 times until I got the angle right. Children should have this character-building experience! It breeds persistence!
And do I need to explain what's wrong with a Barbie doll that includes a camera built into the body of the doll and from which photos can be uploaded to other devices? Can you imagine what your young child will take photos of and where she will send them? (Here's a take on the possibilities, courtesy of Bethesda World News: Introducing Sexting Barbie!)
This is either proof that the world is finally coming to an end, that I'm finally at the age where I truly believe the Good Old Days WERE better, or that--and this is most likely-- we have completely lost track of what really matters when it comes to our kids. People have been saying so for years; now, it's true. I want to see the sales numbers on these toys, and then I want the names of the people who bought them so I can sign them up for parenting classes. Then I want the names of the marketing geniuses responsible so I can force them to sit in my living room playing a game with a digital spinner until their brains turn to mushroom soup.
Here's the NYT article introducing these "innovations," with no evident irony:
Go Directly, Digitally to Jail.
And now, for me, it's time to switch to decaf.