In a recent entry, Neil Gaiman mentions that bombed out house command center i remember hearing about a while back. I never followed up on it, so this was the first time i had seen a picture of the item. My immediate thought was that it's the first "toy" i've ever seen that gives kids some real sense of the horror and destruction of war. You sure don't want your house to look like that.
I was confused by some of the article. Eric Garris of antiwar.com says: "War toys have been around forever, but the problem here is the change in focus. Before such toys were more in line with the ideas of self-defence." I don't remember war toys ever being about self-defense. They were about mutual attacking and fighting. He continues: "This is not just another war toy -- it's a total paradigm shift in the war toy industry. It's setting up the young people for this new kind of war, where soldiers come into your house and take it over when they need to." Um, okay, that's possible. But as i said, i don't see this toy as saying that's a great thing. I think kids would see it as a "doesn't it suck to be the person whose house that is." Isn't that what peace people want? For people to understand the horrors of war? Similarly, Steven Feldgaier ("a University of Manitoba child psychologist who specializes in anxiety and stress among children") says: "These toys glorify violence and war . . . and send the confusing message that peace is linked with the need to arm yourself." I just don't see it.