Tech Toys: Then VS Now

In 1998 I was really interested in robots. Tech in general really. My mother ended up buying me the Lego Mindstorms kit (I also vaguely remember what would be an arduino kit for programming). I just wanted to make things that moved. 

That kit was the hardest thing ever. I think I barely got it to work once. Not only was it not super kid friendly, but it was just not really for kids my age, 9 at the time, which sucked, I was so mad that I couldn’t figure it out, so much so that I lost interest – not being good at something and not knowing how to fix it. 

Let’s flash forward a few years to the introduction of Myspace. Myspace was a whole new frontier, following Friendster, but new in that I had an account. One of the key features of Myspace was the ability to code in the back end. Making hearts fall, auto playing music, changing colors; HTML was a new fun toy that I could manipulate. Again, how did I learn this? Well, I actually used some books my mom had on coding and did a few searches for web instructions on code. Yet again, I fell into the same trap. I knew some of it, I did what I could, but I lost interest because I couldn’t find more information that made sense to me as a kid. 

So it’s shocking and exciting to me that today, while looking to buy toys for my niece, we have toys that focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Toys that specifically look at programming, coding, robotics, and not just in those aspects, but pushing our girls to find it interesting.

Now we look toward the future and Microsoft is teasing Minecraft with AR for your phone. This game is popular with all ages, but not having mobile games with augmented reality on your phone. Pokemon Go, another game that uses AR within their platform, and even used it in their marketing to get people to participate by taking photos with AR creatures.