Trilemma Jr./ Personal Article
Do the bright colorful blocks of our childhood have a dark side? Do Lego bricks come with an unnoticed consequences? Read to make your choice.
by Ira Thota, a Trilemma Jr. Writer
We all know what Legos are. They’re bright, colorful blocks of fun.
I have played with Legos numerous times, and so have all my friends. But lately, I’ve been thinking, are Lego’s actually helpful? Are Lego sets aimed towards certain genders? Turns out these questions lead to a popular topic with numerous perspectives. Here’s where the Trilemma is presented: are Legos positive or negative? Is there a neutral perspective?
The Positives of Lego
Legos have numerous benefits including improving fine motor skills, teamwork, and creativity. According to Scots College, “creativity is improved as children use various shapes, colors, and sizes of Lego to construct intricate designs, be it a police station or a spacecraft traveling to the moon”. This is true because Legos motivate kids to design objects of various levels of difficulty and encourage them to use their creativity as well.
Furthermore, Lego also hosts online competitions where children around the world can submit imaginative creations that answer a prompt. Being a kid myself, I have played with legos countless times and I find them very enjoyable.
The Negatives of Lego
Along with what Lego mostly publicizes, many people all over the world play with Lego sets with specific instructions, like “Hogwarts” or “Lego friends”. They use the help of instruction manuals instead of building something with their own imagination. As written in the article, “Why Lego is ruining our kids' imaginations”, Jake Wallis Simons (CNN) states that “principled Lego enthusiasts have been arguing that [sets with instructions] undermine the whole point of the toy, as they encourage children to construct showpiece models from instruction booklets rather than building something from their own imaginations”.
Moreover, Lego markets their toys as per specific gender stereotypes. For example, “Lego Friends” sets—not spaceships or superheroes—would be marketed to young girls like me. They market cupcake shops and beaches to the girls, and spaceships and submarines for the boys. The gender-specific Lego sets can create a barrier in your imagination. It makes you think inside the box. The box of gender stereotypes. This undeniably leads to crude gender discrimination: girls get things that are pink and “girly” while boys get action and heroics.
To be honest, it doesn’t matter how you play with Legos. Whether playing with a set or creating your own designs, you still spend your time stimulating your brain and using your imagination. No child should look at a Lego toy and think, “oh, that’s not for me” which means that Lego needs to market their toys on a more neutral platform. Girls can play with spaceships, and boys could play with bakeries if they prefer, without being embarrassed or think it is wrong. They can build anything to their imagination’s content.