Fisher-Price has put together a gaming “controller” for toddlers that is designed to help them learn. However, the toy company also threw in a classic Konami code that all gamers would know.
Games are being used to help people learn all kinds of things, including new languages. They are also an easy and fun way to help children learn basic skills, which is where the inspiration for the “controller” came from. Fisher-Price set out to develop something for children to get their hands on and develop their brains, without the potential hazards of a screen.
The toy is rated for children aged 6 to 36 months old and comes with two “levels” of play. The pretend controller doesn’t actually control anything, so there is no gaming involved as an adult would know it. Children can push the buttons, play with the joystick, and learn numbers, colors, and letters all at the same time. Of course, the adults who developed this toy couldn’t help but throw in an easter egg from actual gaming. Bonus points go to you if you know what that “secret” code is.
Still don’t have any ideas? Alright, we’ll stop teasing it. When you press “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A”—otherwise known as the Kazuhisa Hashimoto code—the controller will flash its lights and declare that you win! If you’re interested in picking one up for a young child in your life, you can grab one now for just $9.99. Rest assured, it’s truly designed to help build the brain, so it’s a net positive for the kiddos.
Children as young as three aren’t going to know the secret code or the history behind it, so it’s really something that’s meant for parents. That being said, it’s a really cool addition to the toy. Games are a fantastic way to develop motor skills, pattern recognition, problem-solving skills, and a plethora of other things—but screens are proving to have a negative impact on young children. We’re glad to see that Fisher-Price is able to ride the line between helping children feel connected to their gaming parents while also helping develop their little brains without the screens.
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