Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Child's play

This morning, a title caught my attention on the front screen of the international edition of the NYT: “Sign of Hope: Children Playing Again.” That sounded quite extraordinary, so I looked at the teaser beneath. It started with: “The sight of children bouncing balls and using swings has given at least a glimpse of normalcy.” The rest of the sentence, though, indicated that the article was not about what I thought: it noted that those surprising signs of normalcy among children were on display “even if many are orphaned or burdened by awful memories of the storm.”

When I clicked on the front-page title, it turned out the title of the article which lay hidden was more precise. It read : “For Philippine Children, Return of Play Is a Sign of Hope.” Which is all well and quite heart-warming, but still prompted me to think: how about those millions of children in non-devastated, well-off, WEIRD regions of the world who in recent decades have suffered from a historically unprecedented degree of play deprivation? I am afraid there is no similar hope for them lurking beyond the sociotechnological horizon.