October 15, 2009

Old playgrounds: Fun or dangerous?

GigantaWhen I see old-school playground structures like the one pictured to the left, I admit I have mixed feelings. At first I marvel at its uniqueness, then I think how fun it would've been to play on...and then, a few seconds later, I wonder how on earth it didn't tip over given how little support it had beneath it.

Every month or so another blog pops up with a nostalgic view of old playgrounds, and this month is no exception. And I go through that three-phase reaction every time I see one of these posts. "Giant metal spaceship? Wow. How fun! Wait...that's got some seriously sharp metal edges!" etc.

Many of these marvels of the past have been removed due to safety hazards or just plain old age. Playground equipment is a bit more standardized now, and some would argue that a lot of fun has been lost because today's equipment is safe to the point of being boring, that fun and replayability requires a certain level of challenge and risk.

So I'm putting the question to you: Should today's playground equipment better mirror the creative monstrosities of the past, or is it a good thing that equipment like "Giganta" have gone the way of the dinosaur?

the buzz in play, nostalgia, safety