Every month, the average household in the UK consumes about 242 kWh of electricity. This may not seem like a lot, but according to recent reports, how we use electricity at home plays into the 117 million tonnes of emissions the country produces overall. This is a troubling fact, especially since a growing number of everyday items –– including recreational ones –– are electrical. Consequently, it’s important for those of us who want to minimise our footprints to find ways to have fun with as little electrical consumption as possible.
The next time you’re looking for a game to enjoy, here are some great options that don’t require any electricity at all:
Chess is one of the most universally engaging games you can play. Since the earliest version of the game was created in ancient India, it has become a widely played and respected game across the entire world. For new players, it may seem quite technical at first, which is why it helps to study the basic rules of chess before you begin. However, once you understand the movements of each chess piece, the rest is quite straightforward. Despite being straightforward, it’s a highly strategic game that offers endless opportunities to get better.
Poker is a classic card game that’s been played for generations and is enjoyed in various forms –– from draw poker and Omaha to the beloved Texas Hold’em. Regardless of what version you play though, poker uses the same minimal tools. All you need to get started is a deck of cards and some chips (or any tokens that can stand in as chips). Aside from chess, this is one of the best non-electric competitive games you can play as it is very accessible for those with only a beginner’s knowledge of poker. You can play the game for fun or up the stakes by playing for small amounts of money. It is also a very social game, making it ideal for a gathering of friends.
Blackjack is another extremely popular card game that you can play without electricity. The basic premise of blackjack is simple too: A deck of cards is dealt out to players, and the one whose total hand value is closest to 21 wins. Though a lot of this game is dependent on luck, it can get more interesting once you incorporate strategies. For instance, you could learn to try and predict the cards (also known as card counting). This will help you better estimate how close you are to winning. Alternatively, you could also place wagers on who wins each round. This way, every round is exciting for players (even if you’re not betting with real money you can play for fun with candy in place of chips!).
A fun game that players of all ages can enjoy, Pictionary can be played with makeshift materials as well. Since the goal of the game is simple (guessing what a person is drawing), you can easily play with just some paper and some pens (even if the official version comes with a board). Depending on the occasion, you could even make each round themed. Some examples of themes you could use are movie titles, food, or places. If you want to make it more personal meanwhile, you could even draw specific people or first-hand experiences relevant to whoever is playing. And if you’re trying to use as few single-use materials as possible, you can use a whiteboard or reuse old scrap paper for the drawings.
Big companies aren’t only the ones releasing great tabletop games. In fact, many of the great games nowadays such as Unstable Unicorns and Exploding Kittens, were all Kickstarter projects at some point. One of this year’s most exciting Kickstarters is a card game called BONC!.
BONC! is derived from the unique word “bonc” which means to attack people (very aggressively). The goal is to BONC the competition and take their five lives. Players are BONCed when the same card type is played after them or when they’re hit by an attack card. Much like blackjack, you can count cards and keep track of the ones that have been played or not. But unlike blackjack, this is an easy game that can be learned by every age group.
Admittedly, the convenience and high-tech offerings that digital games offer are very fun. In fact, we’ve already shared how enjoyable and accessible online gaming can be here on the blog. That being said, it’s always good to find ways to have fun offline. When we can find ways to go about our day using as little energy as possible, we’re opening ourselves up to more possibilities and easing the burden on our planet.