Friday, March 30, 2012
Lastly, I appreciate the efforts in Part 2 that point out these decisions for play sets have negative effects on BOTH girls and boys. The gender divide has negative consequences for everyone, not just girls. There is a culture of men and women who want the same thing for kids, toys that all kids can play with together that don't define gender stereotypes. Lego happens to be one of the best toys in the history of playthings, we'd like the decisions to be in line with a better world, not slaves to the market economy.
Check out the video below, then click to see part two, they're worth the watch.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
But...some time has passed...and the idea has sunk in. Toy departments have a lot of multi-colored sections, so to speak, but almost always they also have what can best be described as The Pink Section. And, what has happened, in essence, is that Lego now has representation in the girl section. And...is this a bad thing? I actually think the answer is, alas, no. Sure, designing, in general, for The Pink Section isn't the best way to go about the design process, it's more and more obvious that there are extremely complex gender issues all mixed in. But, as far as Lego's role in The Pink Section, which has existed for as long as toy sections have been around, the classic brick company went from no presence there for-EVER - to - entering.
So...I picked up the girl treehouse for my niece last night. I share this as evidence that, if there's going to be Pink Sections in toy stores, I'm ok with Lego having a presence in them. (I'll pass along any reaction from her, especially in relation to the alien set I bestowed upon her several months back.)
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
I seem to have been mislabeling things as toys for a few years now. People get upset when you call something a toy that they think of as, in their words, more than a trivial plaything. (As though play is trivial, blasphemy.)
I continue to think of things like prayer wheels as being toy-like, and all sorts of things that people appear to be playing with. But by their own account they are doing something else that has nothing to do with play. So...you spin a colorful wheel and think thoughts that magically reach a magical being who helps out with whatever your thoughts were about? Sounds like the best toy ever, eh?
So, what are people calling toys these days? I just did a twitter search on "new toy" to see what would be returned. Here are the first ten objects that appear in the most recent ten tweets: 1) a gun, 2) a camera, 3) a sporty raft, 4) a gun, 5) a camera, 6) a cat toy, 7) sound equipment, 8) a cat toy, 9) iPad3, 10) a camera.
It appears that people like to broadcast about their new cameras, guns, and cat toys. Also, 10 out of 10 of those tweets included a picture with the tweet. (One of the cat toy pics wins the prize to be pictured in THIS BLOG POST CONGRATULATIONS!!! Was going to choose a gun and thought better of it.)
Lastly, "new toy" appears to be a pretty popular thing to tweet about. In the time it took to make this post, less than 5 minutes, 27 new tweets appeared with those words. Which means, yes, I will now find out what the top 10 new toys from those tweets are (all different tweets and pics than the previous 10): 1) iPad3, 2) a car, 3) a "PING PONG BALL WEIRD SEE TROUGH KINDA BOUNCY COLOURFUL FUNNY LOOKIN THING CALLED IT SQUIDILYBOP," 4) BLU ray player, 5) dog toy, 6) iPad3, 7) a little LED reader board, 8) a kite boarding set, 9) a camera, 10) a guitar.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
A couple other recent examples, here, here and I never pass up the opportunity to photograph a treehouse, as seen here from Oregon, here from NY, this one from Copenhagen, and these two from Hawaii.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
intervention in·ter·ven·tion (ĭn'tər-věn'shən) n. Interference so as to modify a process or situation.There's also of course another commonly thought of context, usually also medically related, that involves that friend we all have or had (and/or uncle) who failed to listen to his/her loved ones at the intervention and lives on (or not) in what might be called a painful existence, much of the time.
Interesting to think of STREET INTERVENTION in all these contexts, with layers of playfulness sewn in. My experiments have involved directing foot traffic, prompting a city to place toy horses all over town, slapping up some Braille Graffiti, and a few others...
And...as I continue to marvel at the frenetic energy of street life in NYC, I also seek and enjoy moments of serendipity with objects and words placed by other - intervening - like minds. You can follow various street art blogs and stay on top of these things online, worldwide, which is fun...but, comparatively, nothing beats the discovery of an object placed in public with a special intention for you to see it and perhaps interact with it.
Two things popped into my field of view the past week. The first was a pair of red high-heels hanging from a tree in Greenwich Village. People passed by without a glance. This is NYC afterall, not only can people NOT be bothered by such peculiar whimsy, but they've seen it all before...it's all been done...and the garbage left on the sidewalks is often vastly more interesting (if only conceptually) than most street art...to all that I say, NO! YOU ARE BEING INTERVENED WITH!!! WAKE UP!!! SURE MAYBE THE OBJECT ISN'T YOUR THING.....BUT IT'S THERE FOR YOU AT LEAST LOOK!!! BE AWARE!!! THINK!!!! WAKE UP!!!!
I emailed the red shoe artist and a few days later heard back: The artist is Diana Boros and she has been placing art in the streets for a couple years now. She says her site hasn't been updated in awhile because she's been concentrating on public projects and will be updating the site soon with documentation of it all. We had a couple email exchanges about street art, her projects, thoughts about street artists interacting with the public, etc. She says she will be continuing to do these sorts of interventions, look for them on her site soon! (Or, on the streets.)
Ok, back to my rant, so maybe you're busy...maybe the street as a gallery gets in the way and the objects just don't speak to you. Fine. But, you know, every now and then RE-CONSIDER the idea that maybe you will come across SOMETHING that YOU WILL LIKE by way of street art. Every once in awhile, allow yourself to SEE and HEAR the INTERVENTION. It's meant, after all, for you.
Which leads me to the second street art project I saw this week, a web site called See Me Tell Me. Here's the description from the artist:
Since June 2010 I have created and placed hundreds of tiny seemetellme street-art works in New York, London, Paris, Seattle, Manhattan, KS and Louisville. Using low-art materials I create each work in less than 5 minutes. Anonymity is not part of the work and I identify myself by putting my web-site address or QR code on each piece before I place it in public view. I do this to elicit viewer responses; I want to know who collects a work and why. So if you have seen a work or placed one in your collection, email me or comment on your new acquisition. Thanks
A key element to this project that I like is the Twitter element. The artist broadcasts to followers when and where objects are being placed so dedicated collectors can take the call to action and be a part of the project. (I plan to jump in the next time it is possible for me to do so.)
Designing toys meant specifically to be placed and played with in public is something I continue to think about and work on.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Personally, I'm not a fan of shooting games or toy guns.
So, why am I sharing this? Just reporting on the continued proliferation. Another way to hook yourself into an activity that gets you ready for war. Hah, yeah...maybe it's just fun? Maybe I'm overly sensitive. Maybe I'm not realistic. You may say I'm a dreamer.
Xappr ships this summer.
Another one on Kickstarter, here.
Friday, March 9, 2012
I'll be giving this game, Journey, a spin sometime in the future. It looks like the combination of meditative, relaxing and hypnotic which may be the sorts of effects lots of gamers feel with games they love, but I rarely find video games to have that effect on me. Running aimlessly through Grand Theft Auto did it, old school Nintendo and earlier Atari 2600 titles had that impact on me as well, and likely set the tone for my desires for more minimal games. Anyway, check out some of this video, 20 minutes of Journey game play. And, for more on the game and its developer, check out the site, thatgamecompany. (also, followup: some great thoughts on Journey by Jamin Warren on Kill Screen.)