There’s a lot of logos and content descriptors that I’ve seen on game boxes but a recycling icon is one that I’ve never noticed before. This is from Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood on PlayStation 3 and though I’m not sure whether it means ‘made from 30% recycled material’ or ‘30% of this packaging is recyclable’, it’s nice to see a publisher getting in on greening up. The plastic case feels just like any other PS3 box so I assume it’s talking about the insert and the manual. The insert, too, looks and feels like any other but the manual is all black and white and much more abbreviated than many other modern releases. There’s also no registration card, glossy ad for the strategy guide, or other marketing insert in the package so maybe it means ‘30% less paper junk to throw away’.
It got me thinking about how we could change up retail game packaging for the better. I say do away with plastic cases altogether and let’s get those paperboard cases that the occasional music CD is released in. It’s all biodegradable and there’s still room inside for liner notes made of cheap paper with a link to a downloadable PDF with the “full instruction manual” for those who want it. We all joke about how nobody reads the manual anyways so let’s cut it down to a sheet with a basic controller explanation and the credits/legal/warranty stuff. I know it’s impossible to change it over in the middle of a console generation but I am more than happy to see game boxes thrown back to the SNES/Genesis era whenever Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo are ready.