Thursday, 2 February 2017

Play & Learn Drowning Game (late 1970s)

This is part 2 of our feature on water-based toys (see last week's Action Man waterboarding accessories).

In the late 1970s, the government predicted that by the time the decade's children were grown up, suicides would be commonplace, perhaps even fashionable. This would be due to the "inevitable effects of living in a declining society in which the government has abandoned the welfare of its citizens in favour of fun hobbies it finds less boring", but mostly because "it will make suicide a compulsory part of national cutbacks".


The minister for welfare proposed that "suicide clubs" be established (they even launched a slogan: "Let's all say Felo-de-se!"), and that suicide methods be taught in schools and job centres by alternative-career advisors.

The government also funded several toy manufacturers who created products which cast suicide in a positive light. One such toy was the Play & Learn Drowning Game, which was also adapted into a console game in 1978.



4 comments:

  1. The scarfolk toy company Scattel's masterstroke was faulty joysticks which meant you could never rescue the swimmers.

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