Save the Whales

We played a lot of board games when I was a kid. The house rule was that whoever won the game had to clean it up to try and prevent hurt feelings. They had a lot of clever tricks for managing the emotions of 6 kids. We also played a lot of cooperative board games, and my favorite was Save the Whales. I fucking love whales, and I’m sure this game is why. Each player got to be a small pewter whale, and you moved around collecting Survival Points until someone landed on the Marine Mammal Protection Act space and we could buy a whale’s freedom. But be careful- if you have to move into the Endangered Zone the harpoon ship will chase you and you can become extinct. This is very sad and traumatic when you are a child, but it sure made me love and want to protect whales.

The company who created still makes it, but playing it as an adult I realized that a lot of the cards you draw during play are pretty extreme in their viewpoint. There’s a lot of talk about The $ystem and the evils of Science. I certainly don’t agree with those ideas, but it was a delightful way to learn about whales, which are totally awesome. Did you know that the Bowhead whale can live to over 200 years old? Did you know that orcas live in matriarchal pods? We went whale watching in Alaska a few years ago and saw dozens upon dozens of orcas playing and breaching, and it was incredible. Anyways, when I bought a copy of Save the Whales a few years ago, of course I made all my friends play it with me over beers. I made these magnets to commemorate the occasion. I scanned the drawings of the whales from the instruction manual of the game, and used the craft robot to draw them on magnet sheets that we could color and paint. As the game taught me, let’s celebrate the beauty of whales! And also try and save them from extinction.