Playground review: Mohawk Valley

If I had a dream job other than this, it would be playground design, reviews, and theory. There’s a brand-new welcome center on the New York State Thruway westbound, and they did a really cool job of theming the playground to communicate a sense of place and history.

Fun fact: when I was researching the Arkham LCG stuff for fiction, I considered writing up some original NPC types, including a woman who worked at a local school. Playgrounds were apparently fairly recently invented at the time, and one of the common installations was called the giant stride. It’s basicalky a tall pole with a horizontally rotating wheel at the top, from which hung chain ladders. So you grabbed a rung and started running in a circle, which would let you swing once you got going. Of course, it also spread out the other chain ladders in a whirling circle of blunt force trauma, and if you had bigger, faster kids holding them at the same time, could leave you holding on for dear life (or failing to, and flying off). Even better, there’s a variant in which the chains are attached at the bottom to a big circle, which eases the whirling death concern but leaves the whole thing in a conical shape. It was called a Witch’s Hat, which I was desperate to have as part of the Arkham Elementary playground, but I couldn’t find definitive evidence for its existence before 1928, IIRC. Since the AHLCG is set in 1925, I didn’t like the anachronism of it. But it’s close enough, I think. I mean, the game also has a lightning gun.