Publication Details

Verenikina, I. (2014). ‘Digital play’ is here to stay … but don’t let go of real Lego yet. The Conversation, 2 July 1-4.

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Playing with building blocks such as Lego has been an established part of early childhood education for many years. Educators and theorists agree that building blocks or constructive play provide a wide range of avenues for enhancing learning and development in the early years, but the increased availability and accessibility of mobile digital technologies has seen children more frequently engage in virtual or “digital” play, often leaving behind traditional forms of play with physical objects in physical spaces. So what might children lose – or gain – during this transition from physical to digital play? Lego, the best known producer of building block toys, recently announced Lego Fusion, a range of specially designed digital products that will allow to incorporate physical build blocks into digital games on iOS and Android devices. It isn’t Lego’s first foray into the digital realm – its videogame series has been highly successful commercially over the globe. But this is the first range of Lego products to require both physical and digital components to operate, and shows the ongoing move away from physical toys and towards digital.