This Is L.A.: Rebuilding A Metropolis

DISCLAIMER: This is a translation of my earlier note in Polish. It contains no extra content and, in some places, link references have been replaced with ones that don’t require knowledge of Polish. Because I can’t be arsed to translate it all and translation software (ie. Google Translate) throws up seven colors of monkey shit when confronted with my writing style. Try it, or better don’t.

Downtown Los Angeles as seen from my American ...

Image via Wikipedia

Having decided on running a Los Angeles-based campaign for Shadowrun, I prepared a Google Earth overlay and started chewing through the „Corporate Enclaves” splatbook. As we know from the previous entry, the flooded area is, in our times, filled mostly with your typical American family houses – if you played GTA: San Andreas, you probably know how Ganton, the fictional counterpart of Compton, looked. The splatbook, however, insists that there are skyscrapers or at least multi-story buildings – and I, following my „think, analyze, criticize” motto, started asking what, why and what for. After a few days, I got enlightened: have the family houses been replaced with public housing like the Projects from GTA IV, built with „stuff as many people inside as possible” in mind? Well, if we demolish a block of small houses and slap a couple of ten-to-fifteen-story tenement blocks there, the number of inhabitants will grow a good couple of times. There’s only one little problem with that: due to the vicinity of San Andreas Fault, Los Angeles likes to shake sometimes. And tall buildings don’t like shaking, to say the least. Well, technology marches on – if Downtown LA can have skyscrapers that can shake and not keel over, and the growing population has to live somewhere, we can demolish the family houses of the more well-off and replace them with so called luxury apartment blocks (note: „luxury apartment block” is a term overused in Poland to describe anything that was built in the last two years and has apartments at least slightly larger than a shoebox, hence the irony). And here I noticed another thing: the whole area is one huge-ass suburb made of a handful of towns engulfed by the LA Sprawl. The more LA sprawls, the more suburban architecture, that is: those funny little houses, will be replaced with urban architecture, that is: large blocks. So we can safely assume that the closer to Downtown LA, the more likely we’re to encounter an obstacle course made from the ruins of tall buildings – well, with the exception of industrial districts, but we’ll get to that later. Czytaj dalej