Is a toy without a microchip heresy?

Perusing the latest reports from the American International Toy Fair and I came across a depressing report from Wired News, where they state that “At the 101st annual American International Toy Fair, held this week in New York, there were very few toys that didn’t include computer chips somewhere in their innards. But vendors promise the singing, puking, engine-revving, chatting, TV-interacting toys will be easy to assemble and play with”
What most saddens me, I think, is the misguided efforts of the toymakers who assure everyone “Toymakers have really focused on making technology both usable and fun,” said Tom Conley, president of the Toy Industry Association, who said that 70 percent or more of the toys on display at the fair this year included at least one microchip.
Yet when I watch my children play with toys, it’s those that aren’t battery powered, those that aren’t “smart” from an embedded microchip (or four), and aren’t “computerized” that last the longest and give them the most fun. I have seen my daughter have more fun with a 3’x3′ silk scarf than anything that’s the result of injection molding. And toymakers seem to forget that children supply the sounds and actions that they think toys should have, which is blatantly obvious if you’ve ever seen a boy playing with trucks or a girl with dolls.
In twenty years, though, when 99.95% of toys include embedded microchips and 70% of them are online all the time we’ll get to see what, if any, imagination this technological age has wrought in our children…

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