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Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity

Boldly going into markets that other people shun.
Perspective// Posted by: Michael Shapiro / 14 Dec 2015

When you play a game, you follow the rules. But when it came to creating their own game, the founders of Cards Against Humanity broke the rules. The wildly popular card game, with its profane and scatological phrases, violates all the rules of decorum. And with their decision to make CAH free online (yes, free: you can print out your own cards), the creators disregarded even America’s rules of commerce.

The game’s website describes CAH as “a party game for horrible people.” Another rule – flatter potential customers – broken. Even the online endorsements aren’t all positive. “Stupid,” opines Bloomberg Businessweek; “Bad” states NPR. It doesn’t seem to matter. The game has earned an estimated $12 million in revenue since its first release in May 2011, and the pdf of the cards has been downloaded nearly 2 million times.

The game requires a good-size group – minimum four — and uses black and white cards. One player pulls a black card, and reads a question or phrase with a blank space. For example: “What is Batman’s guilty pleasure?” The other players select a potential answer from one of their white cards (e.g., “Used panties”) with rude, Mad Libs-esque results. The person who asks the question selects what she thinks is the funniest answer, and takes that card. The object is to get rid of all your white cards.

“When you play Cards everyone says inappropriate things to each other, and you all laugh at it,” said co-founder Max Temkin in an interview on Kickstarter. Enter tried for weeks to interview a CAH founder – there are eight –but received no response. So we decided to pose our questions to the cards themselves.

Q: What inspired you to create Cards Against Humanity?
A: 50,000 volts straight to the nipples.
Q: You’ve created a fun working environment – What would get a Cards’ employee fired?
A: Not reciprocating oral sex.
Q: You’d hire just about anyone except _ _ _ _?
A: Asians who aren’t good at math.
Q: _ _ _ _ keeps you awake at night.
A: Rush Limbaugh’s soft, shitty body.
Q: Cards founders dream about a world world where everyone is _ _ _ _?
A: Praying the gay away.
Q: If you create a new game, it’d be all about _ _ _ _?
A: Pretending to care.

Michael Shapiro
Michael Shapiro is author of A Sense of Place, a collection of interviews with top travel writers, and contributes to National Geographic Traveler.