It is that time of year when we pause with gratitude for what was and to begin with hope for the year to come. I had minimal ability to grow my collection this year, but I did have friends who helped me along the way. I was gifted games by some people, my gaming group grew and we started sharing our collections. The best part is that new friendships were made and wonderful shared experiences created. Even though I only bought one new game, I actually had a wonderful year of trying new games thanks to my friends. So I am exceedingly grateful for their support, and their generosity. I have way better stories, but I am trying to remain focused on board games, just in case people begin to think I only have friends so I can play board games.
That is my gratitude, but what of hope for next year? I certainly have a list of games I would like to try, and a few books on board games to read, and I want to actually complete a board game design and push it toward development. That would be heaps to achieve as is, but there is one thing that has been on my mind of late. That “thing” is the sustainability and ecological impact of board games. I know it sounds like I just tore my shirt off and joined a hippy commune, I have not. However, we do have a waste crisis in Australia, and I know we are not the only one. We used to send a lot of recyclables and waste to China who would take our rubbish as we lived on happily ignorant of how much waste we were producing. China no longer handles our waste and now we are being forced to think hard, and the more I have been looking at my lifestyle and what we are doing as a society it is quite confronting. Australia is the second highest waste producer in the world with 22 million tonnes of our waste going directly to a landfill every year.
While I was cleaning out my gaming room I filled the bin in my room with plastic Magic the Gathering sleeves, used card holding tins, and punched token boards. I also pulled apart Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and threw out what I could. Very little of this was recyclable. I began to consider all the plastic pieces my games have and wondered what percentage of my games were recyclable. So my resolution is to learn more about sustainability this year and to ask bigger questions of game publishers about their sustainability practices. It may not be exciting and fun, but it may just be necessary. What resolutions do you have for this coming year?