COMMENTARY: Cooperative Games Foster Altruism and Community in Kids

Photo by Gabriele Galimbert, from Toy Stories

Photo by Gabriele Galimberti, from his photo essay Toy Stories

Our increasingly secular and wealth-driven culture might have an unforeseen consequence on our children’s—and our own—behavior: selfishness. My fellow assistant editor here at The Toy Book, Marissa DiBartolo, discovered an interesting photo essay by Gabriele Galimberti, Toy Stories, which chronicles children across the world and their toys. His finding? Children from wealthier countries were more possessive of their playthings, while poorer children were more apt to share.

I’m not sure I find his observations all that surprising. Cultures like our own, driven by accumulation and a winners-versus-losers mentality, are probably more likely to teach children that fancy material possessions are important and winning must be had at all costs. Ever played a game of Monopoly as a kid and wanted to cry after your sister or brother wiped the board with you? I have. Ever wondered where that emotion comes from? [Read more...]