At the start of every school year, Diane Levin, an education professor at Boston’s Wheelock College who teaches a course called “Meaning and Development of Play,” has her students interview people of different ages about how they used to play when they were children. The results are not surprising: Every year, her students report that interview subjects over age 50 played outside all day in big groups of their peers, with a few toys (“maybe a ball”) and no adult supervision. People between the ages of 20 and 40, who grew up in the 1980s, ‘90s, and early 2000s, watched a lot of television but still played outside, often make-believe games inspired by TV shows and movies.
For young people today, however, it’s a different story. “They hardly play. If they do play it’s some TV script. Very prescribed,” Levin said. “Even if they have friends over, it’s often playing video games.” link