After ARD show “Kontraste” aired a report on “Original Play” the game and its inventor, US American Fred Donaldson, are under criticism for allegedly having facilitated child abuse. The states of Berlin and Brandenburg have banned the game from child care facilities. Plans to include the game in the programs of multiple nurseries in the Swiss cities of Bern and Sursee have been shelved as well.
Donaldson’s esoteric concept is not new on the political left and had its heyday in the 60s and 70s when anti-authoritarian child-rearing and Kinderladen (“children’s shops,” i.e. unprofessional supervision) broke down the barriers between adults and minors. The “decriminalisation” of pedophilia even made it into the election campaign platforms of the Green party at the time. But also innocent youth organisations like the Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America) attract certain people. How can we shelter our children without over-protecting them?