Game designer Elizabeth Hargrave helped jumpstart a tabletop revolution with Wingspan , an environmental board game about creating habitats for birds. Her upcoming release, Mariposas , has players guiding monarch butterflies on their migration. But there's something unsettling lurking beneath the table. Advertisement "It's easy to overlook butterflies and to just think, like, they're always there. We see them every summer. But I personally have noticed seeing fewer monarchs over the last several summers," Hargrave told io9. Monarch butterflies are just one of the many victims of climate change. Over the past two decades, the monarch population has diminished by 90 percent—largely thanks to overpopulation, habitat desolation, and temperature changes. Mariposas doesn't integrate human-created habitat loss or other climate change concerns into the game—though Hargrave said the rulebook includes an information sheet about monarch population threats—but it's an unavoidable truth while playing it. These butterflies that you're helping keep alive…might already be dead. The surge in tabletop board gaming has brought a new sub-genre to the forefront: ecology gaming. Board games about nature, conservation, and the environment have surged in popularity in recent years, including releases like Parks , Photosynthesis, Succulent , and Hargrave's Wingspan. This is something board game… Read full this story
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