Playing Superhero: to What Extent Is it Worth the Idea?

by NDFAuthors

  • Jan 26, 2017

How is it possible for an apparently simple and naive play to trick scientists’ minds and set academical community apart?

There is no doubt that playing is an important tool for every children’s proper development: it helps kids to gain physical skills and social abilities, in addition to contributing to an active and healthy lifestyle “” both for body and mind. However, a certain kind of play has been setting scientists apart as for its pros and cons in children’s personality and in their relations to the surrounding environment.

Superhero: Play or Not to Play?

Playing superhero have become a common means of having fun among children’s groups of friends and colleagues, and even with their parents; when in the shoes of these fictional characters, children are grant a sense of unlimited power and control over the world, feeling responsible for defeating the bad guys and caring for the lives of helpless citizens.

Therefore, some might wonder what is wrong with a child embracing the figures of Superman or Wonder Woman and trying to save the world by any means; well, the thing is that scientific community divides itself to whether playing superhero is more profitable for children’s lives, or more damageable.



What Do Those Who Defend Superhero Play Allege?

1. It assists kids with discerning the nature of good and bad

Playing superhero leads children to get to know what is right and what is wrong, as well as concepts such as good and bad, for they differ in their minds who the good guy is, what he does and why people love him so much, the same way they feel aversion to the villain and the things he execute.

2. It helps children to be more patient

A study conducted by psychologists from Wellesley College in United States found out that when wearing a Superman cape and hearing about his incredible abilities, children were able to undergo self-transformation, borrowing traits of the superhero, and easiestly delaying gratification “” that is, inhibiting the prepotent response to immediate gratification for the benefit of a delayed or more valuable reward. Summing up, self-transformation allowed children to adopt Superman’s patience, which most young children lack.

3. It sows confidence

In a world where anything is possible, like that of superheroes, it is very good for kids’ brains and imagination to fictionally put into practice all that which they dream of. Parents, apart from encouraging their children to plunge into the make-believe world of superheroes, should also take part in the fun; this way, they will be contributing to higher levels of confidence and competence within their kids.


4. It encourages cooperative behaviours

According to clinical psychologist Dr Amy Bailey, it is hard for children age 3 to 4 years to distinguish between what is reality and what is mere fiction, what causes them to believe many of Superman’s features are completely possible, such as his superhuman strength. This, in turn, makes kids more likely to be helpful in real life, enhancing their willingness to be cooperative and contributing to working out the issues around.

5. It empowers children

Once children are very dependent upon their parents, having very restrained control over many areas of their lives, whenever they become a superhero they gain access to a not previously possible sense of power, trying out different characters and being able to choose what kind of person they want to be. This, consequently, not only helps them to deal with any turmoil and sense of powerlessness that they hold within themselves, but it also assists them with working out issues of power and control, allowing them to resolve or reduce fears and anxiety.

6. It gives a space to healthier food choices

 In the age of fast foods, obesity and sedentarism rates have never been so high, once that for children, who rarely understand the health consequences of their eating habits, junk food might seem especially appetizing. However, playing superhero might encourage children to ask for healthier orders as they think of what their superheroes would eat.

Copyright: Yuganov Konstantin

Copyright: Yuganov Konstantin

What Do Those Who Are against Superhero Play Allege?

1. It gives support to violence

Nowadays, the figure of superheroes has been constantly misrepresented: the good guy who would do the maximum as to avoid a fight has been now seen as an action character who takes part in a scenario of non-stop violence. The superheroes currently admired by many are those sarcastic and aggressive, who aren’t seen talking about how virtuous it is saving others’ lives, but rather how “cool” it is flaunting wealth and luxury, objectifying women, boasting and conveying their destructive guns to their envied manhood.

2. It often disregards age appropriateness

Preschoolers would come out in more profit if they looked up to characters more adequate to their ages, such as Thomas the Tank Engine or Bob the Builder. These figures are able to provide role models of social behavior that sets the basis for more complex contents of good versus evil battles later on.

Do your kids like to play superhero? Do you think it is a good idea? Share your thoughts and experience with us.