Technology has a strange way of propagating itself into everyday life. Science, technology and biology all play a role in making human life last longer and the person who will live more than 150 years has already been born (ref). Children don’t understand life or death nor they are particularly interested in it. Toys live forever, sometimes switch sex, get ill, die or reborn. Play is an educational methodology and since our children are becoming increasingly aware of the machine world we inhabit, they are also interested in machines that keep us alive – or sometimes not.
For children, hospitals are uncomfortable and unfamiliar places, writes Hikaru Imamura, the author of Novel Hispital Toys. Examinations and operations are a cause of anxiety and fear in the little patients, and these feelings can be relieved by informing them of what to expect during their visit.
‘Novel Hospital Toys’ is a toy set consisting of toy models of machines, such as CT, X-ray, ECHO(echocardiograph), ECG (electrocardiograph), as well as picture books of explaining machines. Every toy is made so as to give light or sounds so that children can easily imagine how these ‘strange’ machines work while they are playing with them in the waiting room.
When electrode models are put on the doll, an electrocardiograph image appears on the computer monitor. In the case of X-ray, when a child bear is put on the bed, the machine gives blue light down on the body, and after pushing the button of computer, a simple image of bones appears on the display. When you put the probe on the doll, an ultrasonography-like image appears on the monitor. These are only some of the functionalities of ‘Novel Hospital Toys’.
See also The Immortal by Revital Cohen