Do you know LEGO? Who doesn’t, right? 🙂 Well, I used to play with it some 30+ years ago, and have seen my kids taking an interest in it too. Of course, when I played with it, it was mostly the plain vanilla “bricks”, and not much else. These days, you have LEGO replicas of Star Wars, Sponge Bob, Batman, Indiana Jones, and what not.
I don’t mind the change, or “evolution” into more advanced kits; I realize LEGO need to do something to attract kids away from the video games, mobile phones (when is the first 3G toddler phone coming out by the way), computers and so on. As multimedia gadgets becomes more complex, kids’ patience and willingness to sit down and fiddle takes a downturn. There are, of course, exceptions; but as a general rule, it appears that kids of today want more “instant satisfaction”.
With the LEGO Digital Designer, I think the company may have hit a sweet spot. In short, it lets you play with LEGO on your computer; and optionally turn your designs into “real life” LEGO kits. Way cool. It was a rather fascinating experience watching an eight year old with a luke warm interest in the actual process of building LEGO, turn into a creative artist at the keyboard, with mostly the basic bricks at his disposal (show him anything Star Wars LEGO, and he’ll go all warm and fuzzy).
All we need now is American Idol LEGO, Microsoft LEGO, Linux LEGO, Save the Earth LEGO, and a few more “real-life” models 🙂
(Of course, LEGO *could* have gone one step further into coolness and produced a Java version that we could use on Linux as well)