America’s most hated video game company teamed up with the National Basketball Association to produce a vibrant new makeover for a Park Slope playground!
The play space — located outside of PS 282 at 40 Lincoln Pl. between Fifth and Sixth avenues — features a multicolored mural by renowned West Coast artist Madsteez splattered on a basketball court there, and depicting seven outstretched arms reaching for a jump ball.
The renovation project was the brainchild of NBA Cares, the community outreach arm of the professional basketball league, and the video game company EA Sports, a division of Electronic Arts, which USA Today ranked fifth in its top 20 list of the nation’s most hated companies last year, citing practices that included purchasing and then ruining respected gaming studios and video game franchises, along with encouraging kids to spend outrageous sums to access popular characters in titles including 2017’s “Star Wars Battlefront II.”
More recently Electronic Arts courted controversy in the United Kingdom earlier this month, when a lawyer for the company testified before Parliament that the controversial use of so-called “loot boxes” — a form of gambling that involves purchasing randomized in-game items for cash, which have become synonymous with greed in the gaming industry — were “quite ethical and quite fun,” comparing them to Kinder Eggs candy, according to a BBC report.
Both the real and digital sports companies organized a June 20th unveiling ceremony for the redesign, with guest appearances by the Madsteez, along with Brooklyn Nets star Caris LeVert and retired ballplayer Felipe Lopez.
LeVert and Lopez used the opening ceremony to give shooting lessons to the gathered youth on the newly minted purple, orange, and turquoise asphalt.
The playground is open to the public, giving hoop stars — and street art connoisseurs — access to the colorful court everyday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.