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    02 december, 2020

    Children need to be protected from the unhealthy imagination of toy manufacturers

    Author: Vladimir Legoida, no comments

    The government has prepared a draft law on the examination of “board, computer and other games, toys and gaming devices” for the danger they present to the mental health of children. The text was published on the federal portal of regulatory legal acts. Adopting a new law is not the aim, the objective is to amend the text of the long-acting Federal Law “On Basic Guarantees of the Rights of the Child in the Russian Federation”, adopted in 1998.

    It follows from the text that children’s mental health is at risk by games and toys that depict or describe:

    - the possibility of causing harm to one’s own health, or to the health of others, violence and cruelty towards people or animals;
    - the use of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, etc.;
    - scenes of sexual violence, pornographic nature or sexual relations;
    - illegal behaviour;
    - participation in gambling;
    - injury, accidents, emergency situations or disasters, deaths in a form that degrades human dignity;
    - instances of insulting the religious feelings of worshippers, deliberate public desecration of religious or liturgical literature, objects of religious veneration, signs or emblems of ideological symbols and paraphernalia.

    I once recounted how my middle daughter Anna asked me to give her an angel for Christmas. Delighted, my wife and I went to one of the best children’s toy stores in Moscow. There were numerous toys — teddy bears, bunnies, toy geese, piglets, toy devils and vampires. But we couldn’t find a suitable angel. The only one we managed to find in the end looked so much like an imp that we didn’t buy it.

    The modern market for games and toys is truly huge, and the indignation of parents over the lack of choice is growing. The Internet is filled with photographs of various games and toys that look strange, intimidating or discouraging even for adults. I am sure that children need to be protected from the unhealthy imagination of toy manufacturers who, in order to increase sales, are ready to step over anyone or anything. That is why I consider the proposed amendments to the law useful and well-timed.

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