Keyword Archives: race

August 14 2016

Prejudiced Parks


Detail of the 1931 planning map of the Robert Moses park and parkways plan. Source:

To battle the depression of the 1930s, President Roosevelt proposed massive government spending on public works. In 1933 the future master-builder of New York, Robert Moses, had a plan ready to build a network of parkways to connect the parks in Long Island. To limit the access to the parks only to the rich and white New York residents, he made sure the bridges over the parkways were so low that public buses could not reach the parks. Robert Moses did not hide his disdain for the poor and non-whites, and as a state official actively helped to segrerate public works. As Parks Commisioner of New York City he built parks, ponds and 255 playgrounds built out of reach of the poor. He also saw to it that the Robert F. Kennedy bridge exit ramp was built in Harlem, clogging the streets with cars, so wealthier neighborhoods like the Upper East Side would not suffer the intense traffic to the bridge. Urban planning decisions from that still actively shape the lives of people today. Read more on Robert Moses in the award-winning biography The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro from 1974.

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May 11 2016

Game Changers

Image Facepunch Studios.

Image Facepunch Studios.

If you ever played a videogame you are familiar with the limited amount of choice in characters. Female gamers are used to being forced to play a male character, and usually characters have a white skin. Recently game developers have responded to the lack of diversity in games by creating game characters that better reflect society’s diversity. Rust is a first-person survival game created in 2014 by Facepunch studios from the UK. Originally all game characters were bald white men, but then developer Garry Newman decided to change this. Now every player is assigned a random character, which could be black, or white, male or female. The assigned character is used the entire game. The update immediately sparked outrage, particularly amongst white male players. Female players were more pragmatic. Newman, ‘They point out that they’ve already being play Rust as men for the past two years.’

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