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.


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

  2. Being a good Catholic I've hailed quite a few Marys,though I digress. I've had to laugh, however, at the downfall of this most cardinal of sinful policies. A decent country, such as America or even the U.S., would have been far wiser and placed the basis of these necessary deaths on homicide, which I think we'll all agree is a much more wholesome and acceptable form of cleansing. Stoning being the obvious choice of purification,though I would accept alternatives so long as they be verified and voted upon, democratically, by National Rifle Association.
    A concerned observer.

  3. As a good Catholic I've hailed many a Mary, though I digress. Much to my personal approval this most sinful of snowflake policy making has crashed upon the rocks of liberal folly. The cardinal rule, of course, being: know your bible. So I think we'll all agree here that homicide was always the TRUE way to go, and that if only our uninspired government would have for once taken their lead from America, or even the US, we might have seen a real long term improvement in the number of these unfortunate but necessary ends. The obvious choice, of course, being stoning. Although I would accept alternatives so long as they be democratically endorsed by by the National Rifle Association and approved by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.
    Hugs and kisses,
    Sir Philis Disponiblis