Quartz: LEGO turned itself around by analyzing overbearing parents

The most salient observation revolved around an old shoe. An 11-year-old German boy showed a researcher his most prized possession. It wasn’t a video game or a fancy new toy. It was his beat-up sneaker. He lovingly pointed out all the ridges and nooks along the side and the bottom. They communicated to his friends that he had mastered a specific skateboard trick. From this observation, the researchers discerned a larger pattern of mastery. Children play to achieve mastery at a skill. And if the skill is valuable to them, they will stick with it. The German boy’s dedication to skateboarding—and the social currency it brought him—dismantled all of the earlier assumptions about time compression and children’s need for instant gratification from their toys. In fact, the analysts discussed, it was the exact opposite. The most meaningful play for children seemed to involve degrees of difficulty and skill acquisition. The team dubbed this insight “instant traction versus paying your dues.”

via LEGO turned itself around by analyzing overbearing parents – Quartz.