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Playing pretend and make believe: do children still do it?

My friend came across an interesting group of children the other day. She was babysitting them and asked if they wanted to play pretend. The answer dumbfounded her. They didn't know what playing pretend was.

This got me thinking. On the one hand, there are some parents who say that college starts in kindergarden, and will put money and effort into making sure their children go to pre-schools that teach skills that could possibly put them above their peers come kindergarden.

On the other hand, we live in one of the most interesting times in human history. Most children, from the moment they are born, have access to television, and apps on smartphones that are easy enough for them to operate.

I never grew up with a smartphone in my life like my little cousin who is 8. He plays Angry birds on his dad's iphone whenever we get together at holiday parties and whatnot. My first game system was a N64 when I was about 10, and the internet (dial up) when I was about 12. I didn't get a computer until I was in the seventh grade.

I grew up playing the backyard with a plastic sword and a cap rifle from disneyland, or in the living room with a wooden train set. With young children being exposed to all this constantly, it makes me wonder if imagination is dead, or if it just has become something else. I'm not sure. What are your thoughts on it?

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    Apr 29 2013: I wonder how many adults do?

    The U.S. discourages such as crazy or undesirable at the very least in need of medication.

    Yet I would contend that the founders used this very skill to imagine a country filled with imaginers, imagine that today?
    • Apr 29 2013: You bring up a larger issue as well sir about the stagnation of technology due in part to a lack of imagination and creativity.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZoKfap4g4w
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q25-S7jzgs
      I will cite these two talks as evidence.

      Though I do disagree with the whole country discouraging people as crazy or undesirable. I would say maybe that the US sees people with artistic creativity as not useful to the capitalist system we use because it's well not useful to the system. The thing is, if you put an artistically creative person in the right environment, then you will see some spectacular innovation.
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        Apr 29 2013: My comment is in reference to the current culture that does not encourage imaginative thinking.

        Compared to the past, undeniably the most imaginative in the history of the world.

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