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January 9, 2014 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Ladies Against Humanity (single-link tumblr, NSFW language). This is what happens when Cards Against Humanity is written by women.
posted by immlass (205 comments total) 74 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good! Cards Against Humanity is really fun but it is definitely a bit dude-centric. Would love to see some of these creep in to a new or expanded edition. Also, save some money and play CAH with your friends with cards that you make yourself. We've done that in the past and the combo of raunchy humor, inside jokes, and local lingo makes for an ever better game.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:26 AM on January 9


The Cards tumblr reblogged one of the cards yesterday, so they've definitely noticed. Hopefully that means an official collaboration/release of some kind!
posted by kmz at 8:34 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Those are all really excellent cards.

I shall write many of them on my blank cards immediately.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:35 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


These are good!

My idea was Cards Against Man's Inhumanity To Man.
All the cards would contain either quotes from Gandhi, MLK, Albert Schweitzer, etc., or global poverty statistics.
And it would be 100% not fun.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:46 AM on January 9 [52 favorites]


Only played CAM once, but the type of humor and transgressions they make are definitely from the white, college-educated dude perspective. So it's basically made for me, but the bias is so obvious it's startling.
posted by Think_Long at 8:49 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


These are really funny, and they really capture the CAH's blend of raunchy and oddly out there. I really like the non-grossout unexpected cards,* and I'm pleased to see that LAH didn't just go for the easy raunchy laughs.

*a well deployed "a really cool hat" makes me laugh harder than anything else
posted by troika at 8:50 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


That said, I would like if they'd work on the tumblr's pacing. It seems like a dozen cards will get posted in a two minute span, then nothing for hours. Space it out! Use the tumblr queue function! It's there for a reason!
posted by troika at 8:52 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I'm giggling at all of the cards I could pair with "The Golden Girls' never-ending supply of frozen cheesecake."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:53 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Ugh I hate it when I realize I didn't notice how dude-centric something was. These cards are awesome.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:55 AM on January 9 [17 favorites]


This makes me happy- I have eerily similar custom cards concerning Katherine Heigl and the Golden Girls.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:55 AM on January 9


Now I am wondering about all the wines I could pair with the Golden Girls' never-ending supply of cheesecake.

I just want some cheesecake.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:55 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Can somebody explain to me how CAH is "dude-centric"?
posted by I-baLL at 8:56 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I was singing the theme song to The Golden Girls as I was walking in the door this morning. Perhaps I was attempting to summon a cheesecake.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:57 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I really like "when the tampon's too low and you feel it with every step", though "a detailed vajazzling of Van Gogh's Starry Night" is also great.
posted by jeather at 8:59 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I actually want somebody to vajazzle Starry Night in real life and take a photo of it. That would work very well, methinks.
posted by I-baLL at 9:01 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't it be called Cards against Ladies though?
posted by bleep at 9:01 AM on January 9


The specifically anatomical ones were my favorites. Some of the more culturally oriented ones didn't seem that funny to me or whizzed over my head because I don't even go there.

I fear that the Ladies Expansion pack would blow my fearsome track record with this game.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:03 AM on January 9


I-baLL: CAH displays a particular brand of "transgressive" humor that is more friendly to the (straight hetero white) Dude mindset.
posted by idiopath at 9:03 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: STOP MAKING ME PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING PINTEREST DARLA
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:04 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


The card "When a dog smells your crotch and you know exactly why" made me quite literally laugh out loud.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:05 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Also, "Crying in the fitting room during bikini season...?"



Stealing punchlines from "Cathy" is a fail by any metric, for a Cards Against card it's downright shameful.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:05 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I-baLL: CAH displays a particular brand of "transgressive" humor that is more friendly to the (straight hetero white) Dude mindset.

Yeah. Greg Nog recently tweeted a good parody of it that made fun of this aspect. I can't find it and didn't save it to my phone, so I hope someone else here saw it and can post it.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:10 AM on January 9


Cah: my question was how is it dude-centric? You said that it's more friendly to the Dude mindset but what does that mean? Can you give an example? I've played CAH with guys and gals alike and they both enjoyed the humor. I'm confused why people are saying that the humor is dude-centric. LAH, on the other hand, does seem more focused on women by mentioning female bodily functions and situations that I guess arise in women's culture. GAH always seemed gender-neutral to me.
posted by I-baLL at 9:11 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


LAH, on the other hand, does seem more focused on women by mentioning female bodily functions and situations that I guess arise in women's culture. GAH always seemed gender-neutral to me.

Uh... there's a ton of dick/semen/(male) masturbation jokes in the base game.
posted by kmz at 9:14 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I play CAH with groups that are mostly, if not entirely comprised of women. Some of these are really, really funnyand would work, some of them are so girly-culture (bikinis, cosmo, assorted lady shit we don't care about) that they would be those cards you spend the entire game trying to get rid of because they just don't make a funny in any way.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:17 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Can somebody explain to me how CAH is "dude-centric"?

Well to start, there was that card about date rape. I mean, even the creators themselves admitted to removing that particular card in future copies of the game.
posted by FJT at 9:18 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Oh yes, CAH has lots of dicks.


Vast howling expanses of peen.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:18 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Yeah. Greg Nog recently tweeted a good parody of it that made fun of this aspect.

Greg Nog's tweet
posted by likeatoaster at 9:18 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


my question was how is it dude-centric? You said that it's more friendly to the Dude mindset but what does that mean? Can you give an example?

I don't want to get all social-justice criticky, because I'm not saying CAH is super-misogynistic trash, and that no women or non-white people could enjoy it, all I'm saying is that it has a definite bias.

Usually it's easy to identify that bias by the rules and taboos that the game chooses to break. For instance, there is a lot of ironic racial humor that shows up ("big black cocks", "asians good at math"). Now, those stereotypes are pretty widely considered to be non-PC, and what is the only group in our culture that can really be non-PC, break those boundaries, and not really be punished for it? College-educated white men. We (I include myself in this group) will often allow ourselves to make ironic jokes specifically because we won't be punished for it. We're educated. We're liberal. No one could call us racist.
posted by Think_Long at 9:18 AM on January 9 [19 favorites]


it's Cards Against Humanity so I don't know what GAH is...

I agree the original game is dude centric in humor but I still really enjoy playing it and don't want to play an alternate version about abortion rights and periods and labia, no not really.
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Uh... there's a ton of dick/semen/(male) masturbation jokes in the base game.

That pretty much covers it. It's not that the base game isn't fun for everyone, it's just that there is a whole lot more that can be done if you let some other demographics have a go writing new cards.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:20 AM on January 9 [20 favorites]


Hahaha, I didn't realize that I typed "GAH" instead of "CAH". Now I'm going to be forced to make a card game where you play as the Gods of Olympus who rain tragedy down upon the lives of poor humans.

Gods Against Humanity
posted by I-baLL at 9:21 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


oh also I'm not white and a woman. I do think the humor is sort of ironic fun, but this opinion is largely influenced by how truly awesome I think the company is. I follow maxextentialist ( one of the creators) on tumblr, and it's really interesting how social justicey he really is despite the crassness of the game- their games are available for free download, they donated a ton of money to donors choose, and showed where the money went, and his tumblr posts are just really interesting things about feminism/equality/design/spirituality, just good-guy stuff. I like it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:21 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Part of CAH being dude-centric is the fact that our society is dude-centric. So if it's really a taboo-breaking, transgressive game, it should poke at that. For example:

I don't want to play an alternate version about abortion rights and periods and labia

Culturally, boners and semen are funny; periods and labia are not. But why not?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:21 AM on January 9 [28 favorites]



Hahhaa, I didn't realize that I typed "GAH" instead of "CAH". Now I'm going to be forced to make a card game where you play as the Gods of Olympus who rain tragedy down upon the lives of poor humans.

I LIKE THAT! Gotta make that.
posted by sweetkid at 9:22 AM on January 9


Yeah, from my very limited exposure to Cards Against Humanity, there's a lot of neutral stuff and a lot of dudebro stuff, and not a lot of stuff from specifically non-dudebro perspectives. Not all these cards are hits by any stretch of the imagination, but the tampon one and the underboob sweat one would definitely fit right in. I laughed for like a minute at Sylvia Plath's cookbook.

On preview, Tell Me No Lies says what I said but better.
posted by KathrynT at 9:22 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Gods Against Humanity

So...all of them, basically?
posted by zombieflanders at 9:24 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised to see CAH reprint these (with permission) pretty soon. They're nice guys, and for Christmas surprised one of my buddies with a card with his name on it, which was pretty great.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:25 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I've played CAH with guys and gals alike and they both enjoyed the humor.

I usually play it in mixed-gender and mostly queer groups, and we laugh our asses off. It is not unenjoyable because it's dude-centric - it's still funny. But it being funny doesn't mean that a deck that is not so dude/straight-centric wouldn't also be fucking hilarious, especially to those of us who are not.
posted by rtha at 9:25 AM on January 9 [35 favorites]


Culturally, boners and semen are funny; periods and labia are not.

Every once in a while I realize that I live in a different world than many of my college educated white male brethren. Although I admit I don't know that many good labia jokes.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:26 AM on January 9


Ugh seriously the more I look at it the more it irritates me..."50 Shades of Gray?" "The bikini fitting room?" It's like the Cathy comic chick or Cosmo wrote these. ACK!
posted by sweetkid at 9:26 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Exactly, rtha.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:26 AM on January 9


There's only one card in the original set that references menstruation, as far as I can tell, and it is the Menstrual Rage card. I love CAH, but it is absolutely conceived from a male perspective.
posted by almostmanda at 9:28 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


For instance, there is a lot of ironic racial humor that shows up ("big black cocks", "asians good at math").

The mean not-PC humor put me off the game. Getting rid of some of that and adding some woman-centered (as subject) humor makes me a lot more interested in it.
posted by immlass at 9:30 AM on January 9


Okay, thanks for the explanations!

Though I do have to disagree with Think_Long's statement of:

"hat is the only group in our culture that can really be non-PC, break those boundaries, and not really be punished for it? College-educated white men. "
posted by I-baLL at 9:31 AM on January 9


Ugh seriously the more I look at it the more it irritates me..."50 Shades of Gray?" "The bikini fitting room?" It's like the Cathy comic chick or Cosmo wrote these. ACK!

Presumably there are women who do find these funny and would play these cards, or else they wouldn't have been submitted and approved. I like that this isn't just capital-F Feminist-approved cards but also would be enjoyable by people who are really into girly culture. It just broadens the appeal, to me.
posted by troika at 9:32 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


Oh, and someone's going to kick me (or make me get naked and watch Nickeledeon) for this, but...

I'm tired of Cards Against Humanity. When I get together with friends and new acquaintances, it ends up being either the game they want to play or the game they brought and want everyone else to play. And it's starting to get this reputation of being this game to show to people how cool and naughty and transgressive you are. I just want to play something else. Even if its frickin' Apples to Apples at this point.
posted by FJT at 9:33 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]


LAH, on the other hand, does seem more focused on women by mentioning female bodily functions and situations that I guess arise in women's culture

women's culture = human culture

We have this assumption in the west that culture basically means what straight white dudes like, because straight white dudes basically have all the power.

Mentioning female bodily functions and situations doesn't make something more women-focused (especially, as said, when there are specifically male bodily functions and situations already referenced in the core game), it makes it people-focused.

The problem is the defaulting to caucasian male heteronormativity that occurs every single place you look in western culture.

Also:

MetaFilter: Vast howling expanses of peen
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:36 AM on January 9 [29 favorites]


The grammar on that last comment of mine is atrocious, sorry. I like that these cards cover a lot of different aspects and considerations of being female, that they recognize that the female experience doesn't follow a single track, that's what I mean.
posted by troika at 9:37 AM on January 9


For reference, here (PDF) is the list of all the original CAH cards.
posted by KathrynT at 9:38 AM on January 9


FJT: "Even if its frickin' Apples to Apples at this point."

Cards against Humanity is just Apples to Apples for Assholes.

I quite like this Ladies against Humanity, and hope they collect the best ones at some point for PDF download / unofficial expansion pack.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:41 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Huh. "Heteronormativity" is a card in CAH.
posted by squinty at 9:41 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I'm all for bodily functions, but it says "by ladies, for ladies" which bothers me. Agreed that it has a mix of "OMG baby showers" and like, stuff about Gloria Steinem and the Texas State Legislature, but it's just not...funny to me and doesn't seem at all inclusive to men. I think if I got together with a group of women we'd start playing LAH, sure, and then switch to CAH because it's just...better.

I'm all for not endorsing hetero cis white male normativity, but this seems to be more "This is for the ladies, wink wink, amirite?" I wouldn't be surprised if one of the cards is "my husband's dirty clothes all over the floor" and stuff like that.
posted by sweetkid at 9:42 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Huh. "Heteronormativity" is a card in CAH.

So is "being marginalized." It's not a clueless dudebro project.
posted by sweetkid at 9:42 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Ugh seriously the more I look at it the more it irritates me..."50 Shades of Gray?" "The bikini fitting room?"

That stuff is more relevant to me than "getting so angry that you pop a boner" is. Or, at least, no LESS relevant.
posted by KathrynT at 9:43 AM on January 9 [17 favorites]


It's not a clueless dudebro project.

I don't think anyone is saying it is. I think people are saying, rather, that it involves elements of dudebro humour.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:43 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


And yeah, I wouldn't say that LAH is a decent replacement for CAH -- but I think it would be a great ADDITION.
posted by KathrynT at 9:43 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


And yeah, I wouldn't say that LAH is a decent replacement for CAH -- but I think it would be a great ADDITION.

Yeah, looking at them one after another the way they're presented sort of skews their purpose, so I can see why there's a certain kind of pushback. But, like if you're adding salt to some soup you can't just taste the salt and say "man this salt is waaay too salty, I don't want my soup to taste like salt." Because it won't taste like salt, it will taste like better-flavored soup.

Anyway, I would more than welcome these cards in a game of CAH.
posted by griphus at 9:46 AM on January 9 [15 favorites]



We (I include myself in this group) will often allow ourselves to make ironic jokes specifically because we won't be punished for it. We're educated. We're liberal. No one could call us racist. Totally, totally, totally weird. If I heard you make an 'ironic' racist or sexist or whatever joke I would absolutely not see it the way you seem to.
posted by TheTingTangTong at 9:46 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]



Anyway, I would more than welcome these cards in a game of CAH.


Agreed, a few of them tossed in would work well. i think there already is a Gabby Giffords one in the original.
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 AM on January 9


I would LOVE the tampon one mixed in with the regular set, because playing that card would result in amusing facial expressions and not a little "FUCK YOU."
posted by louche mustachio at 9:48 AM on January 9


Also, is a "detailed vajazzling of Van Gogh's Starry Night" implying that one would vajazzle herself with a Starry Night design, or that you'd break into the museum and vajazzle the painting itself?

plz respond asap thx
posted by griphus at 9:48 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


Yeah, this would be a terrible deck on its own. No question. But it's meant as an add-on. (FWIW, I think that 50 Shades of Grey is a great card, crying in the bikini fitting room is terrible.)

griphus: definitely vajazzle yourself.
posted by jeather at 9:49 AM on January 9


"The bikini fitting room?" It's like the Cathy comic chick or Cosmo wrote these. ACK!

Presumably there are women who do find these funny and would play these cards, or else they wouldn't have been submitted and approved



Cathy has never been funny.


To anyone.



Ever.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:51 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


And perusing the PDF that KathrynT linked, I see a whole bunch of cards specifically referencing male bodily functions and situations: four hour erection, something about Glenn Beck's scrotum (eeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh), concealing a boner, testicular torsion, and so on. I haven't yet been able to find one that is specifically about the female experience. So, another data point in the 'male culture = culture' thesis. Oh scratch that, I guess 'Coat hanger abortions' is specifically about women. (Okay, there are one or two others; 'Clitoris,' 'Toni Morrison's vagina').

Plus there are the really icky ones. 'Surprise sex' is a rape reference. 'A salty surprise' is (to my perhaps twisted mind) an obvious semen reference, the implication to me being the 'oops I forgot to warn you before I came, heh heh' blowjob.

But basically? That entire list reads like ideas from a pitch meeting at tosh.0, which is about the dudebroest humour you can find anywhere.

MetaFilter: definitely vajazzle yourself
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:52 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]



Some of these cards are great. I've played the game once and followed the game my sisters and Dad played on Christmas this year. I would have loved to have some of these cards to play because the base game is somewhat dude centric, though not so much that we all found it hilarious.
The thing I like about the game is that it is quite open to adding your own cards as well as this sort of public extending of what's available. My sister is already adding some of these to her own cards. A person could easily add types and areas of humor in line with groups that they play with. My Dad and aunt for instance would likely not get humor based on (for lack of a better word) 'gamer' knowledge but I and my cousins sure would and did. My cousins had a couple of cards in his set that reference WOW and games in general. Wish I could remember what they were and played with because the group of us were in hysterics and my cousins girlfriend and aunt were all 'Huh, we don't get it."
posted by Jalliah at 9:52 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Cards against Humanity is just Apples to Apples for Assholes.

Eh, I wouldn't say it's Apples to Apples for Assholes. Apples to Apples is fully equipped to be for assholes. I've seen games of Apples to Apples go to asshole mode, heck I've played some of those cards myself. I think Cards Against Humanity also goes a bit beyond general mainstream references too.

Cards Against Humanity is more like Apples to Apples made by overeducated hipsters. There, I said it. And I know there's a hipster card in CAH.
posted by FJT at 9:54 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Totally, totally, totally weird. If I heard you make an 'ironic' racist or sexist or whatever joke I would absolutely not see it the way you seem to.

? I'm not saying that it should be the case, or that it is right that this is the case, but if there is a demographic in our culture that is generally above ramifications for transgressive humor, it is educated white dudes. Watch Family Guy. Hang out in a college dorm for awhile.
posted by Think_Long at 9:55 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I still want some fucking cheescake.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:55 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I still want some fucking cheescake.

in other news you are breathing and have a pulse and seem to be a human being
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:56 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


i want cheesecake too is what i am saying
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:56 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Also, we're going to be playing CAH this Saturday and I think tonight I'm going to go through the box and pull out any particularly shitty cards. Something tells me that may even be an intended part of owning the game. Like, you can't just buy literally a BOX O' TRANGRESSIONS and expect it to all be hunky-dory with your personal drawn line between "funny transgressive" and "hurtfully offensive."
posted by griphus at 9:56 AM on January 9 [31 favorites]


I feel ya, FJT. My circle of friends have made a conscious decision to cut back on playing as often we used to and I make it a point to "retire" some cards when a new expansion comes out. It was done out of logistical reasons initially (I wanted to only travel with one box but o, they made A Bigger Blacker Box to hold all the expansions and the master set) but I've found that retiring cards as new ones are released has kept the game fresh. The blank cards are your friends.

Also, there's Cards Against Gallifrey for all us Whovians.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:59 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Honestly I'd say there's about a 50% hitrate for cards being funny and not funny/no one gets them with that rate varying based on your group's sense of humor. But it seemed like for every time we'd get something hilarious there'd be another time when everyone was dumping their shitty cards.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:59 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I love "The cold, hard truth that no lesbian has ever scissored". Whether or not that's accurate, it's a sharp dagger pointed at young, male, porn-driven perceptions of what lesbians actually do.
posted by fatbird at 10:00 AM on January 9 [12 favorites]


The mean not-PC humor put me off the game. Getting rid of some of that and adding some woman-centered (as subject) humor makes me a lot more interested in it.

Yeah, ditto.

The last time I played CAH it was with a group of feminist women, including a Muslim woman of color, and we decided to put aside cards we weren't comfortable playing. There was a pretty big stack of those by the end. But maybe I'm not cool and ironic enough, I dunno.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:01 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


i don't know, I've played it in pretty mixed ethnicity groups and everyone was pretty comfortable. I can't quite explain the impulse to be entertained by things in a game/comedy setting that I'd find odious in real life, but I guess that's how I feel about it. I definitely think it makes sense, as griphus says, to edit out those that the group doesn't feel comfortable with.

It's like, to each his/her own, if people aren't comfortable it's time for a new game. But I don't think this game really perpetuates racism/sexism/rape culture. It seems to have more of an "Archer" ironic knowing twist on those things. Then again I haven't played it with people who hold sexist/racist views in general, which could change things up.
posted by sweetkid at 10:07 AM on January 9


Once a month is my cards against humanities limit, and getting them to switch it out with other party games (Channel A's my current favorite).

I've found that the only time I'm super uncomfortable playing is with people who are pretty much the definition of hipster racism. Anyone else, including the mixed race mostly-queer online version with the furry deck, I'm fine. If I am given the chance to put cards away that I'm not willing to play, I rarely take the chance. But when playing with people who claim that if you're not offended by some of the cards, you have no right to be offended by any of the cards, my hand seems to fill up with shit I'm not willing to play. I feel a little too complicit.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:10 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


But maybe I'm not cool and ironic enough, I dunno.

I can relate. Sometimes when I'm playing with white people or people I don't know well, I kind of wonder if by playing this game with them as a person of color and laughing sometimes, if I'm just somehow condoning hurtful or offensive humor.

I guess, in a way I'm afraid of it taking on a "Chappelle effect", where people end up laughing at something instead of along with it and also where people just start yelling out the equivalent of "Rick James" thinking because it's funny on card it's funny everywhere.
posted by FJT at 10:13 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Without wanting to be too deraily, Archer-type "irony" more and more seems to me not to be irony at all but merely saying something awful and then pulling a gosh aren't I dreadful face. I guess intention is ultimately unreadable but I've gotten pretty uncomfortable around people really really enjoying it.
CAH is sort of great becuase despite the abovementioned lean in the content of the cards, if you're playing with good people the answers are funny for ingenuity rather than mere offensiveness.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:16 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Without wanting to be too deraily, Archer-type "irony" more and more seems to me not to be irony at all but merely saying something awful and then pulling a gosh aren't I dreadful face

And unfortunately that ends up giving a pass to the actual bigots.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:19 AM on January 9


if you're playing with good people the answers are funny for ingenuity rather than mere offensiveness.

Yeah, I think one of the reasons I am largely bored/frustrated with the game is less that CAH is bad (although some cards definitely are), and more that it often appeals to the lowest-common-denominator humor, especially in larger-group settings. And it frankly kindof makes me like people-I-otherwise-like less. YMMV.
posted by likeatoaster at 10:21 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


I mean I'd go as far as to say that there's something censurable about that humour itself, even if it's not quite actual whatever-ism.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:22 AM on January 9


I mean I'd go as far as to say that there's something censurable about that humour itself, even if it's not quite actual whatever-ism.

That's the definition of transgressive humor, isn't it?
posted by griphus at 10:28 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Sure. It's complicated and humour and the workings of humour are complex and I'm not saying transgressive humor isnalways wrong or should be banned or anything, bit I have definitely been in places where people are clearly just getting off on shitting all over whatever vulnerable group and eugh.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:33 AM on January 9


And it sure aint irony.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:34 AM on January 9


After going through these cards, I have concluded that the six-year-old me may have been onto something: GIRLS ARE GROSS!
posted by zscore at 10:34 AM on January 9


I mean I'd go as far as to say that there's something censurable about that humour itself

And I would go so far as to say that Cards Against Humanity is much more fun than Cards Agai-YOU CAN'T SAY THAT. I see these LAH cards as expanding the pool of CAH cards, not limiting them.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:34 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I don't think I even disagree. I don't think cah is particularly on the dreadful end of this stuff and I do really enjoy it. Probably best stop meandering in the thread.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:38 AM on January 9


I just find after a game of CAH, I never want to be with those sets of friends again. Fun while you're doing it but you see a side of them you were never meant to see, and it cannot be unseen. We might as well just gone ahead and had an orgy instead.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:42 AM on January 9


...I have definitely been in places where people are clearly just getting off on shitting all over whatever vulnerable group and eugh.

Yeah, like likeatoaster said, it's too easy for this game to both encourage a Seth MacFarlane take on what 'transgressive humor' means and also reveal some really unfortunate things about people. And that sort of thing is inherent to anything that is explicitly transgressive in any way: Bret Easton Ellis novels, Archer, whatever. CAH has a participatory element though, which makes it hit harder when it's someone you know using it as an opportunity to make a racist joke, rather than when it's a character on a screen or in a book doing it.

I think CAH, more than most party games, requires a lot more responsibility on behalf of the person who owns the thing to be judicious about when to play it. Like I wouldn't take it to a party full of people I didn't know, and if I was at such a party, I probably wouldn't participate if a game started (assuming there were other things to do.) But with the right friends who you know well and with whom you share both a sense of humor and a sense of, I don't know, social responsibility, it can be a whole lot of fun.
posted by griphus at 10:44 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


Big fan of CAH here, own all the expansions, have the holiday card with my name on it, etc. A few weeks ago, my wife and I sat down together and pulled out all the cards we didn't like. "Date rape" was among the first to go, as were "Surprise sex" and "Two midgets shitting into a bucket." We probably pulled out about 60 cards, all told.

CAH can be an excellent barometer for determining who you want to be friends with. If you think "Date rape" is funny, I don't want to be your friend, and if you think "Being a motherfucking sorcerer" isn't hilarious, I probably don't want to be your friend either.

Oh, and I did once see "Black people" win a round in a non-racist way: Scientists have found that "Black people" are responsible for "Space Jam on VHS." You can't really disagree with that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:50 AM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Have you played Truth Against Humanity? Every noun card just says "9-11". Wicked LOLS!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:50 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Cathy has never been funny.


To anyone.



Ever.

The print version of The Onion used to run Spanish-language Cathy comics. They were somehow deeply hilarious.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:53 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


My idea was Cards Against Man's Inhumanity To Man.
All the cards would contain either quotes from Gandhi, MLK, Albert Schweitzer, etc., or global poverty statistics.
And it would be 100% not fun.


From the descriptions above, that last quality seems to be shared by the original game.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:55 AM on January 9


One of the interesting things about CAH for me is that you have to have a good vocabulary and awareness of issues and history to get many of the cards. I recently played a few games with people who weren't familiar with eugenics, heteronormativity, dysentery, the Übermensch, chutzpah, suffrage, Oedipus, and Seppuku. Suffrage is easy to explain but heteronormativity takes a bit whe you are starting from basic prinicples. I'm pretty sure many of the references of some other cards flew over their heads too but we still had a good time.

They also drew a blank on a lot of the American centric cards like the 3/5ths compromise and Glenn Beck. My regular group has removed the American celebrity cards from the deck because we don't share the culture references for those cards.

Faint of Butt: "If you think "Date rape" is funny, I don't want to be your friend"

Bad things cards like "date rape" or "waterboarding" or "Auschwitz" can be round winners because they are so horrible. Like say in response to the "Alternative medicine is now embracing the curative powers of _________"
posted by Mitheral at 11:11 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Bad things cards like "date rape" or "waterboarding" or "Auschwitz" can be round winners because they are so horrible. Like say in response to the "Alternative medicine is now embracing the curative powers of _________"

I imagine that is cold comfort to a woman who has actually been sexually assaulted. Especially when you consider that in any group with 5 women or more, there is an extremely good chance it has happened to at least one of them.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:20 AM on January 9 [15 favorites]


awareness of issues and history to get many of the cards.

"Smegma" is the one that is most often explained when I've played. And the younger players will definitely need cards explained. Though, you probably want to be judicious about at what age to play the game with. I've had friends that wanted to play with 13 year old nieces or a mother that ended up playing with their 19-year old son...
posted by FJT at 11:22 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Also you'd probably want to take the "waterboarding" and "Auschwitz" cards out if you are playing with someone who, for instance, was interrogated by the government or a Holocaust survivor. It's just that those situations are a whole lot less common.
posted by griphus at 11:23 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I've had friends that wanted to play with 13 year old nieces or a mother that ended up playing with their 19-year old son...

Oh, FFS. 13? Doesn't Facebook have a minimum age of 14?

Hello, I am a prudish old man and want to save the childrens, apparently.
posted by psoas at 11:25 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


zombieflanders: "I imagine that is cold comfort to a woman who has actually been sexually assaulted. "
Is it the likelyhood of personal experience that makes bad cards unplayable? I don't want to get into ranking evil but a lot of cards in the CAH deck reference very bad things and much of the humour in the game is bleak and depressing (or maybe that's just my group). Even the LAH cards reference pedophilia, the Malala Yousafzai attempted assassination, and Female genital mutilation,

None of this is meant to question Faint of Butt's unplayables; none of the cards are going to be playable by all groups.
posted by Mitheral at 11:34 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


everyone has their own unplayables.

I removed "men" and "women" from my copy of Apples to Apples because they could never be played without annoying the hell out of me.

I have lots of my own CAH unplayables, yet I quite adore "PacMan uncontrollably guzzling cum".

But I'm never playing that game with my mother.
posted by jb at 11:38 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


speaking of difficult-to-play cards being played very well:

we once had a winning combination of "I never knew sadness until I learned about ______" and the answer "The Trail of Tears".

not funny, clearly the best answer.
posted by jb at 11:40 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I don't want to get into ranking evil...

You don't have to rank it. If there's a 20% chance a certain card will make a person of one of the two main genders briefly relive some personal trauma, there's no reason for anyone to leave that card in unless they're okay with that happening. And if they're okay with that happening, they need to do some serious soul searching about how they go about treating other human beings in the world.

The card isn't even included in currently-published sets because the creators owned up to how seriously shitty of an inclusion that was.
posted by griphus at 11:41 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


griphus: "Also you'd probably want to take the "waterboarding" and "Auschwitz" cards out if you are playing with someone who, for instance, was interrogated by the government or a Holocaust survivor. It's just that those situations are a whole lot less common."

Descendants of Holocaust survivors aren't particularly uncommon, and I've played the game with a few of them. It's still a personal issue to a lot of people.

To date, the "Virginia Tech" card is the only one that we've permanently removed from our deck.

The game is entirely what you make of it. Cards like "Date Rape" and "Auschwitz" tend to be used in the context of "Hyperbolically bad thing that is completely evil" when we play the game (which still leaves plenty of opportunity for humor or poignancy). Generally speaking, it's not a winning strategy to play those cards "for the lolz."
posted by schmod at 11:46 AM on January 9


Well there you go then, there is essentially no chance with my regular group.
posted by Mitheral at 11:46 AM on January 9


Also, for the love of God, can we not turn this discussion into a thread of Social Justice meta-shaming?
posted by schmod at 11:47 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Is it the likelyhood of personal experience that makes bad cards unplayable?

Yes and no. As you say, it's up to the players as to what they want to consider unplayable. It's just that for a lot of women, it's not just that it's horrible, it's that it's both horrible and real to them. "Auschwitz" and "waterboarding" is just something that is mentally distant for a lot of people, and pretty unlikely to be a significant part of someone's life, whereas rape is very likely to be so. To each their own and all, but they shouldn't expect that most or even some people agree with them, and if they told someone to lighten up over it, that's a pretty dick move. If they play whatever everybody enjoys, and don't belittle someone for something that makes them uncomfortable, then they can have at it.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:49 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


It’s different if you’ve experienced it. I say this as someone who has played cards referencing some truly shitty things that have happened to me – to the point where I’ve won hands out of some mixture of horror and pity more than people finding them hilarious. I get to mine my own trauma, you don’t get to mine it for me.

I think the difference is that for a lot of dudes, date rape is some mythical hyperbolic idea, rather than a thing that has happened to real people they know, like the person that's sitting next to them. It’s a lot likely that you’re playing with a rape survivor than a holocaust survivor.

Also the piglet with tiny rainboots would be a much better choice.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:52 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


After going through these cards, I have concluded that the six-year-old me may have been onto something: GIRLS ARE GROSS!

No grosser than your average pee-puddle-on-the-bathroom-floor-leaving, bath-hating, booger-eating six-year-old boy.
posted by emjaybee at 11:53 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


In many instances, I think it's less the actual card text than how it's played. Sort of the "humor should punch up not down" thing.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:55 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Descendants of Holocaust survivors aren't particularly uncommon, and I've played the game with a few of them.

Well, yeah, that's why I said "for instance." I know at least a few people (who are not personally Holocaust survivors and with whom I'd probably not be walking hand-in-hand into any sort of transgressive territory) who would straight-up punch me in the face were that card to come up while we were playing. It'd be an over-the-top reaction, certainly, but not an unexpected one. But on the whole it's a lot easier to vet for that scenario if you're trying to be judicious about card choices.
posted by griphus at 11:55 AM on January 9


One of the great things about CAH is that it's both modular and open to modification to more easily tailor each game to the players. If you think girls are icky, or there's not enough making fun of dudes, or date rape is fair game, or periods are hilarious, it's up to you. The creators seem to like encouraging their fans to come up with their own cards or even sets, and that was what I thought was the main thrust of the FPP. I don't think anyone in this thread is down on the game's content, just that it could use a little extra from different people.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:01 PM on January 9


Yeah, CAH is awesome but it can get, uh, squicky and unsavory and arguably sexist and racist and otherist at many different times. Eg the "Black People" card, even if there is also a "White People" card.

But many of those times it's the eye of the beholder, and the player of the card(s), and a reflection of, well... how awful we can be. Which is sometimes kind of the point. I guess.

Also, what the fuck is up with the trademarked cards like "GoGurt"? And does anyone just throw them away? I'm assuming it's not actually paid product placement.

Wait, maybe it's actually paid product placement from utterly clueless companies who have no idea what CAH and how their trademarks are being used in context, which would actually be kind of awesome.

I've been kicking around ideas and making lists for a Seattle expansion pack, because there is so, so much political correctness and local weirdness to mine for potential cards.
posted by loquacious at 12:01 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Cards against Humanity is just Apples to Apples for Assholes.

and

Yeah, I think one of the reasons I am largely bored/frustrated with the game is less that CAH is bad (although some cards definitely are), and more that it often appeals to the lowest-common-denominator humor, especially in larger-group settings. And it frankly kindof makes me like people-I-otherwise-like less. YMMV.

I've been hearing about CAH for a long time (and most recently during a conversation between the clerk and a customer at a games shop in Oxford in which the shopkeeper said they don't keep it in stock because she disapproved of "the recent trend in games that make fun of things"). I finally just looked up the rules and cards today, and I can't figure out how it differs from Apples to Apples. I've never liked Apples to Apples and suspect I wouldn't like CAH. I've never been able to put my finger on it. I'd go over to game nights, we'd play Apples to Apples, and I'd have a miserable time.

Neither of the games seems to be a game. That's fine. I'm all for exploring something without a goal.

But when I've played Apples to Apples, I couldn't figure out any reason to play one card over another. The humor that arises seems to be for people used to holding themselves back or unaccustomed to comedy. All you end up with is some pretty lame non sequiturs and Family Guy-style absurdist reference humor. Except, in the case of these games, the premises are actually chosen at random by man(atees). There's no competition, no input by the players, and just a lot of "Oh...that's so random" humor.

Now I can hear some of you say, "You must be a joy at parties."

You're right...I'm not much fun at parties that feature Apples to Apples (and CAH, presumably). But get Catch Phrase, Cranium, Taboo, Charades, Rapidough, Pictionary, or any other party game that: is a game, is fun, is silly, and involves the participants' personalities and skills (not that they have to be good at anything), and we'll have a good time.
posted by msbrauer at 12:02 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Seattle expansion pack

Starbucks

Birkenstocks with socks

North Face hoodie

Cross-town traffic

Seahawks fans

Sounders fans

Thai food

the 520 bridge
posted by KathrynT at 12:02 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


"What stopped the orgy?"

"The Golden Girls' never-ending supply of frozen cheesecake."
"50 Shades of Grey."
"A new cookbook by Sylvia Plath."

posted by loquacious at 12:03 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


They're nice guys, and for Christmas surprised one of my buddies with a card with his name on it, which was pretty great.

My brother signed me up for 12 Days Against Humanity...but since he signed up to have it delivered to our parents' house while at the same time signing himself up at his own address, he didn't think to change the shipping information from his name to mine. It's a shame he lives so far away; his name is very quickly becoming associated with some really crazy stuff.
posted by solotoro at 12:04 PM on January 9


But I don't think this game really perpetuates racism/sexism/rape culture.

and

they made A Bigger Blacker Box

That's definitely an ironic reference to race issues, i.e., Chris Rock's album which focused heavily on race. And then there's David Cross's Bigger and Blackerer.
posted by msbrauer at 12:06 PM on January 9



You're right...I'm not much fun at parties that feature Apples to Apples (and CAH, presumably). But get Catch Phrase, Cranium, Taboo, Charades, Rapidough, Pictionary, or any other party game that: is a game, is fun, is silly, and involves the participants' personalities and skills (not that they have to be good at anything), and we'll have a good time.


Yeah, people have different tastes is all. I like the subjective, absurd sort of humor of reading these silly sentences together, and the sort of red faced surprise on the face of the person reading the cards. I think it's fun and silly, and ugh Pictionary. Cranium is kind of OK but nowhere near as "intellectual" as it seems to claim to be, and the clay challenges are so annoying.
posted by sweetkid at 12:07 PM on January 9


they made A Bigger Blacker Box

That's definitely an ironic reference to race issues, i.e., Chris Rock's album which focused heavily on race. And then there's David Cross's Bigger and Blackerer.


I don't understand this point at all. Sure it's a reference to race issues. Referencing race issues and perpetuating racism are not the same thing.
posted by sweetkid at 12:08 PM on January 9


Yeah, people have different tastes is all.

Agreed. Just trying to figure out why I don't like the game.
posted by msbrauer at 12:09 PM on January 9


One of the things I loved about CAH was the online anti-sale they did for Black Friday, charging $5 more.

"If you don't understand why we did this, you're probably a terrible person." they wrote.
posted by loquacious at 12:10 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I really wonder how many people got taken in vs how many intentionally payed more for the lulz.
posted by Mitheral at 12:12 PM on January 9


There's no competition, no input by the players, and just a lot of "Oh...that's so random" humor.

Both for Apples to Apples and CAH, the gameplay style and humor that arises from it depends entirely on the people present. I've played both and I haven't encountered either of the problems you mentioned, but I don't play it with people who think random-for-the-sake-of-random is funny or who don't understand how and why non-sequiturs can be funny. I can easily imagine how A2A and especially CAH can be a huge drag if you're playing with people who don't have the same generative sense of humor as you do (as opposed to appreciative sense of humor) or who just don't know what makes a funny thing funny.

I suspect you also may not enjoy them because A2A/CAH aren't really party "games" in the same way as the other games you mention. The rules are bare-bones, and it's really just an excuse to structure being funny together beyond "everyone at the party tells jokes."

Also, the biggest difference in rules between A2A and CAH that I've noticed is the nature of the "assignment" card. CAH has a lot more variety beyond statements: fill in the blank, questions, two-card scenarios, etc. The bigger difference is in the content of the cards.
posted by griphus at 12:13 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Also, if there aren't enough players, we have a house rule that a random card is put in with the rest, just for variety's sake. Unless a person is really not trying (or just has a hand full of inapplicable cards) you can almost always tell which card it was. Although when you can't tell and the sheer randomness of the game just created something genuinely hilarious, it's even better.
posted by griphus at 12:17 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Agreed. Just trying to figure out why I don't like the game.

The game can drag on or be unfunny if you don't have a lot of players, or unfunny players.

Or if you're even remotely sober. The game is generally at its best when everyone is pretty much tossed and ready to laugh at stupid shit.

I've had card combos when I was card czar that literally hurt me and bruised my ribs I was laughing so hard, that I could barely read. But I'm a horrible, horrible person and my sense of humor is basically a Superfund toxic waste dump. I've been kicked out of churches, classrooms, bars and have been slapped/punched because of some of the incredibly offensive shit that sometimes comes out of my mouth and surprises me at the wrong moment.

That said, I last played with a friend's legitimately Asperger/autistic spectrum brother who is kind of sheltered and/or apparently very, very square and easy to offend.

He basically won by points, and laughs. It took like one hand and he was all in.
posted by loquacious at 12:18 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Also, if there aren't enough players, we have a house rule that a random card is put in with the rest, just for variety's sake.

My house rule when I'm czar is that I can still play a card, and I read it along with the rest. I just can't choose it to win, obviously, and will or won't reveal that it's mine depending on my whim.

We also sometimes allow discards when hands get sucky. Or a round of Go Fish.
posted by loquacious at 12:21 PM on January 9


I just know that I can't wait to play again now that I've got a personalized white card with my name on it. It was the 12th gift of the CAH "12 Days of Holiday Bullshit" promotion.
posted by dnash at 12:21 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I really wonder how many people got taken in vs how many intentionally payed more for the lulz.

I know at least one person who intentionally paid more because the $5 was worth the laugh to them.
posted by loquacious at 12:24 PM on January 9


This seems like a fine place to mention that at the last DC Board Game meetup we played a round of CAH where the white card was 'Metafilter:'

Here's what everyone came up with.
posted by troika at 12:27 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


I really wonder how many people got taken in vs how many intentionally payed more for the lulz.

The $5 anti-sale was actually a really big success.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:33 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


One of the great things about CAH is that it's both modular and open to modification to more easily tailor each game to the players.

Something that almost anyone who has played a half dozen or so games of CAH tends to find is that once the freshness of the transgressive nature wears off, the game loses some of its appeal. This has not escaped the notice of the folks at Snakes and Lattes (the site of at least one CaH-centric meetup), who devoted an episode of their podcast (the episode Something Against Humanity) to how to make variants of it.


Also, if there aren't enough players, we have a house rule that a random card is put in with the rest, just for variety's sake.


Not really a house rule: it is in the base game, and is known as Rando Cardrissian.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:34 PM on January 9


This seems like a fine place to mention that at the last DC Board Game meetup we played a round of CAH where the white card was 'Metafilter:'

Here's what everyone came up with.


What won?
posted by sweetkid at 12:36 PM on January 9


Not really a house rule: it is in the base game, and is known as Rando Cardrissian.

I'm just going to put on my card-game-hipster pants here and say that we've been doing it since Apples to Apples.

help i'm stuck in the pants
posted by griphus at 12:37 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


(See I can make a joke about that because I've actually been stuck in a pair of pants before.)
posted by griphus at 12:38 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I believe it was Metafilter: not contributing to society in any meaningful way
posted by troika at 12:39 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


I'd happily swap these cards in for the politics cards from the base set. Hawr Hawr Hawr Palin Hawrl Hawrl Glenn Beck Hawrl Hawrl
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:39 PM on January 9



I believe it was Metafilter: not contributing to society in any meaningful way


If I were playing I would have had a hard time choosing between that and "quivering jowls"
posted by sweetkid at 12:40 PM on January 9


Metafilter: a hard time choosing between that and "quivering jowls".
posted by kmz at 12:49 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I've always seen CAH as introducing social justice-y elements to non-social justice-y people, but in a very, very stealth way. One of the creators Max Temkin articulated it best in a Polygon interview:

Max Temkin thinks that comedy can change people's opinions about the world. One of the most popular comedy games of the past few years, in any medium, is a game he made with seven friends called Cards Against Humanity. It's held the No. 1 slot in Amazon's toys and games category for nearly two years.

"I think there's a huge social value to [Cards]," Temkin says. "George Carlin used to say that when people laugh, their minds open up for just one second, and you can plant a new idea in there and they don't notice it, necessarily."

Cards is a simple game. One player draws a black card with a question on it. Everyone else at the table plays a white card anonymously from their hand of answers. To win the round the asker must like your answer the best. The hilarity that ensues gives Temkin and his friends the chance to implant a lot of ideas, and to change a lot of opinions.

"With Cards we are confronting people with these things that are really inappropriate," Temkin says. "In some cases we've just given people a framework to talk about social ideas that are important to us."


As noted upthread, "heteronormativity" and "being marginalized" are two of many cards that give opportunities to discuss social issues in a fun environment in which people are open to new ideas. You might have to explain some of these cards to people who've never heard of them. This is a good thing. And the cards that cross your personal lines of transgression are opportunities for positive broaching of sometimes-taboo social issues, too (it all depends on HOW someone plays them.) And best of all, in a non-preachy way, by nature of the game. The cards are just cards; by themselves they don't express any actual worldview, but they're the building blocks to stealth-communicate things to your friends while everyone laughs their asses off.

In the way I've always seen it played, CAH is basically the anti-Tosh.0. It blows my mind that the comparison can even be made.
posted by naju at 1:44 PM on January 9 [14 favorites]


yeah as I said above I'm a fan of Max Temkin and his blog maxistentialist. I agree that CAH is not at all something to be compared to Tosh.0. Nope.
posted by sweetkid at 1:47 PM on January 9


In the way I've always seen it played, CAH is basically the anti-Tosh.0.

I think the bolded part is key to why there's a large range of experiences for CAH. A player scores in CAH by appealing to the black card reader's humor. If the card reader's humor is closer to Tosh than Carlin, then they'll pick that every time. And if the majority of the people sitting around the table are closer to Tosh, then Tosh.0 style humor wins out. Of course, if griphus' advice on being judicious about the game is followed, the type of people and hence the type of humor that dominates will already be settled beforehand.

And, while it's great to hear Max Temkin was thinking about these things in making the game, once a piece of or art or entertainment is released into the wild, he really doesn't have much control over it anymore. When I've played, nobody has ever asked about "heteronormativity" or any heavy issues like that.
posted by FJT at 3:13 PM on January 9


RE: FJT

I'm really glad I'm not the only one who isn't completely enamored. So I've never really liked it (I know shocker), just because the humor isn't really my cup of tea and if I'm being honest the game makes me uncomfortable (and I like dick jokes as much as the next person) but I never made too much of a fuss because not enjoying it comes with this baggage of being the "lame" one plus I am pretty sure I am the only 22 year old who went to college who doesn't like the game. It's actually gotten to the point where I actively dread playing it when it inevitably comes up whenever my friends get together.

My personal discomfort aside, I always see the game degenerating into laziness because it's really easy to play who can be the most shocking and or offensive. Honestly I prefer Apples to Apples if only because it calls for more creativity.
posted by KernalM at 3:47 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


feckless fecal fear mongering: And perusing the PDF that KathrynT linked, I see a whole bunch of cards specifically referencing male bodily functions and situations. . . I haven't yet been able to find one that is specifically about the female experience.

I agree about the ickiy-ness, but there actually quite a few that are specifically about the female body. On a quick skim of the UK version, I see:

Female specific:
An asymmetric boob job
Estrogen
The female orgasm
A fanny fart
Lactation
The miracle of childbirth
Menstrual rage
My vagina
The clitoris
Coat hanger abortions
(Women's suffrage, Penis envy, and Guys who don't call are slightly less clear)

Male specific:
A micropenis
A ginger's freckled ballsack
Testicular Torsion
Balls
Wet dreams
A snapping turtle biting the tip of your penis
Being so angry that you pop a boner
Man meat
A posh wank
Erectile dysfunction
Concealing an erection
Natural make enhancement
Foreskin
An erection that lasts 4 hours
posted by James Scott-Brown at 3:52 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I can easily imagine how A2A and especially CAH can be a huge drag if you're playing with people who don't have the same generative sense of humor as you do (as opposed to appreciative sense of humor) or who just don't know what makes a funny thing funny.

griphus, could you, or someone who understood better than I did, elaborate on this distinction between a generative sense of humor and an appreciative one? I thought I understood when I first read your comment, but now I'm no longer sure, and the idea interests me.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:39 PM on January 9


I have to add "A posh wank" to my American set now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:46 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


There may be some disparity in the gendered gross out cards, but if it is, I expect that it's about unconscious patriarchal chivalry rather than unconscious sexist exclusion.

If, in fact, these cards are being written by a batch of disproportionately male comedic writers, some of the ones invented in this link may well have been left out because even in this very transgressive context, "you just don't go there".

I'm glad to see the new cards, because I definitely think, especially in transgressive contexts, we need to end ALL "you just don't go there".

But that raises a tough question about where is too far to go, particularly given the references everybody made to Daniel Tosh (shudder), above.

I think there's a "prison sex" card, for instance. How far down that road can we go? There are endless opportunities in the existing set for two-part and three part answers to become Holocaust jokes. But whether or not Holocaust jokes, slavery jokes and rape jokes end up in games I've played tends to have more to do with whether the players have decided to have an ironic contest about who can be the most transgressive, rather than actual insensitivity.

The big question I have is: in a game where being transgressive and horrible is often the goal, is there any way to go too far? Is this a safe space for our demented id? Or does it become a playground for the privileged to make jokes at the expense of the not?

My answer is that it's all of these, but I'm curious to hear other views.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 4:47 PM on January 9


Also, all the cards with registered trademarked products on them suck, am I right? Can I get an "Amen"?
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 4:48 PM on January 9


For those interested I've made a LaTeX document that automatically typesets cards with backs. It takes a bit of tweaking for the black cards, but white cards work pretty well automatically: I've made a list for my friends out of CAH + All expansions I could find, Crabs Adjust Humidity, Cards Against Humanity: The Reject Pack, A Board Game Geek list I found (Lots edited out of that one), some from r/cahideas that caught my eye, Cards Against Science, Ladies Against Humanity and Hackers Against Humanity (Heavily modified) and a few others.

So it lays out 9 cards per page, with backs every other page so you can print it double sided. Would anyone be interested in me posting this somewhere? I can add and remove cards quite easily now, so you won't see Date Rape on it, for example.
posted by Canageek at 4:56 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


It obviously, I think more than any other game I've seen, depends entirely on the players and the way they would usually interact. For a group of people that I work and socialise with, this game would be hilarious and fun. For some groups, you would have to remove half the cards or more just to make it playable and for some it would just be another excuse to be a bunch of arseholes.

I think it could be much improved by the addition of the 'lady' cards and I doubt there was any intent to be chivalrous by the designers in not including some of huge topics - if this was designed mainly or wholly by men, a lot of these cards would simply not be in their minds.
posted by dg at 4:59 PM on January 9


... elaborate on this distinction between a generative sense of humor and an appreciative one?

I made those terms up on the spot, just trying to draw a distinction between what you think is funny and how you can be funny. Almost necessarily a sense of appreciative humor encompasses the sense of generative humor in a person: I don't know anyone who can intentionally be funny in a way they don't actually think is funny. But it doesn't work in reverse; lots of people just can't be funny in ways they think they are funny, and some know it and some don't. E.g., I, personally, love parodies/pastiches of famous writers but I cannot write any for the life of me. Mimicry is just not in my generative sense of humor but very much so in the appreciative.

So the problem comes when a person who is fond of transgressive humor but incapable of actually being funny in a transgressive way tries to do so and instead just ends up being, on the whole, horribly offensive. And CAH lends a vocabulary and a mood to it that just amplifies it a whole lot because the phrases on the cards -- written by people with a clearly developed generative sense of transgressive humor -- have so much potential for both good transgressive humor, and really bad and painfully offensive humor.

...and that's how beans are plated.
posted by griphus at 5:11 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Geez, as a third-wave feminist Smith graduate with tons of queer/liberal/educated friends, I have *never* encountered anyone who hates CAH as virulently as MetaFilter! You do realize it's made by smart, self-aware people, right? I mean, to be perfectly honest, many of these LAH cards offend my sensibilities WAAAY more than any of the tongue-in-cheek, holding-a-mirror-up-to-society style humor of CAH. I mean, "Eating the entire bag"? Ugh. I've never seen a single episode of Sex and the City and I'll thank you not to float distasteful bits and pieces of it into my consciousness when I'm trying to enjoy a fun game.
posted by Mooseli at 5:31 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


... person who is fond of transgressive humor but incapable of actually being funny in a transgressive way tries to do so and instead just ends up being, on the whole, horribly offensive.
Yup, sounds like me :-(
posted by dg at 5:42 PM on January 9


Geez, as a third-wave feminist Smith graduate with tons of queer/liberal/educated friends, I have *never* encountered anyone who hates CAH as virulently as MetaFilter!

I'm really not seeing any virulent hatred of the game in this thread. Could you expand on this?

You do realize it's made by smart, self-aware people, right?

Yes, thus the many comments that basically say this.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:49 PM on January 9


I played this game for the first time on New Year's Eve with a group of people I didn't really know, and it was a little much for my taste (the biggest dudebro of all felt emboldened at the end of the game to tell a detailed story of some guy who wanted somebody else to chop off and eat his testicles, and I was so done with the evening I spat out, WOW GREAT STORY, LOOK AT THE TIME, BYE), so this link is timely.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:18 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


It can be made by smart self-aware people and still be very uncomfortable to play with people you suddenly realize aren't all that self aware. Those aren't contradictory.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:36 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


Also, as a third wave feminist, I respect other people's enjoyment of stereotypically femme activities and the anxieties that might go with them, even if I'm not all that femme myself.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:39 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I'm playing it RIGHT now, with a group of 14, nine of which are strangers I have never met. Pray for me.
posted by FJT at 8:10 PM on January 9


I'd just like to comment that currently, the card at the top of the page is: "Tenderly dominating Uncle Jesse from behind." Which *might* go well with the black card that is further down the page: "If you don't mind my asking, how *do* lesbians have sex?"
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:19 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


This is awesome. ready to print some cards right now.
posted by allysahn at 8:35 PM on January 9


Plus there are the really icky ones. 'Surprise sex' is a rape reference. 'A salty surprise' is (to my perhaps twisted mind) an obvious semen reference, the implication to me being the 'oops I forgot to warn you before I came, heh heh' blowjob.

But basically? That entire list reads like ideas from a pitch meeting at tosh.0, which is about the dudebroest humour you can find anywhere.


Yea, seriously. The entire thing strikes me as reddit comments that got upvoted a lot in a seriously messy thread.

Can it be ok depending on who is playing it? yea. Are there some REALLY squicky cards that shouldn't be defended? yea.

You do realize it's made by smart, self-aware people, right?

Smart, yea. But self aware is questionable. The guys who made this seem to seriously suffer from the same problem vice magazines staff does. It's like "smart angry white guy" syndrome.

The humor is really family guy without a censor, i don't understand why anyone tries to deny that it radiates dudebro. If you can't see it that's your blind spot, not something that people should be having to sit down and spell out for you or it doesn't exist(which i saw some people get very close to implying earlier in the thread)
posted by emptythought at 8:41 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Also, i'm not seeing a whole lot of hate in this thread either. What i HAVE seen a lot of though is any time the discussion comes up pretty much anywhere online that the game has issues people pop out the woodwork to go "jeeze, why does everyone hate that game?". It's very similar to what discussing harassment on xbox live or online gaming was a few years ago when you'd get a bunch of people really pushing back hard.

ugh.
posted by emptythought at 8:43 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Can someone please define a posh wank for me because I have about 3 possible meanings for it and all seem reasonable.
posted by elizardbits at 9:01 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Is it when Jeeves lights your cigar after?
posted by rtha at 9:04 PM on January 9


I think it's masturbating while using caviar for lube.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:06 PM on January 9


Pinky up, wearing a French cuff.

Only a French cuff.
posted by griphus at 9:11 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


So wait, is "Sort of wishing the baby on the plane would die" a lady-specific thing? I always thought that was just part of the universal human experience.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 9:25 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Are there some REALLY squicky cards that shouldn't be defended?

No. The entire concept is to create a space where we get to laugh at the forbidden, at the otherwise unacceptable. As long as the people who're doing this are adults who are aware that the game is a pressure valve for all of our taboos, it isn't just defensible, it's healthy and good.

The moment we start to make a list of which cards aren't OK, if we're inclusive of all voices and identities when making the list, it becomes a rather long list. I say the hell with that. It defeats the purpose of the game.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 9:42 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


I thought it was masturbating while using a condom, according to wikipedia.

That said, as a fan of the game (When done with people who are comfortable with it and share the sense of humour), I'm going to share my cards and the code used to generate them.

I've removed some cards: The rape cards, most celebrity cards (I think they are boring) and any card with people on it who's names I don't know. Oh, and this was made for me and a group of friends, so I customized it to what I thought they would like.
I may have missed some things I should have removed; I didn't edit to heavily as I could aways just toss the cardstock card if people didn't like it.

Anyway, if anyone has card recommendations, suggestions, edits, etc let me know. I'm very willing to make you custom versions if you ask nicely. I'm also thinking of adding the My Little Pony set I saw on the web once.
posted by Canageek at 9:43 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Cringed at the "Malala's gunshot wound" card.
posted by pony707 at 9:45 PM on January 9


Can someone please define a posh wank for me

top hat and tails

I thought it was masturbating while using a condom

no that's a latex fetish and/or a pathological distaste for towels
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:48 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


So, this game explicitly designed to be customized by its players? It should not be customized. Customizing this customizable game would be wrong.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:35 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


As long as the people who're doing this are adults who are aware that the game is a pressure valve for all of our taboos, it isn't just defensible, it's healthy and good.

The moment we start to make a list of which cards aren't OK, if we're inclusive of all voices and identities when making the list, it becomes a rather long list. I say the hell with that. It defeats the purpose of the game.


Y'know, you should really read the thread and hear how the creators talk about the game before you go off on a rant about how we're all destroying it.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:56 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Is it when Jeeves lights your cigar after?


I think it's masturbating while using caviar for lube.


Pinky up, wearing a French cuff.

Only a French cuff.


From these three comments - which were at the top of my Recent Activiity - I managed to deduce the original question. <3 you guys.
posted by ominous_paws at 5:31 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Customizing this customizable game would be wrong.

If that is in response to this comment, maybe try reading it again? It is answering the question of whether some cards are indefensible, not whether the cards should be customized to the players' liking. Are some cards so inherently wrong that nobody should ever play with them? That we should make negative judgements of somebody who has not tossed them from their deck? Those are the questions being answered 'No' in that comment. How did you get from there to 'Thou Shalt Not Customise CAH'?
posted by 0 at 5:34 AM on January 10


And I pretty much agree with "No" to those questions.

The "Black People" card is probably the worst one where I've been in game in which it was actually played. It used in a quasi-racist way by a player with a history of being kinda racist and everyone was rather uncomfortable that round. We all moved on quietly and so kinda racist (who is, of course, actively racist on some level as we all are) got have fun being quasi-racist and kinda shocking everybody by actually going there and nobody took the opportunity to make it a teachable moment and thus racism as institution had itself a little win of reinforcement. Overall a rather crappy outcome.

But, I dunno, maybe nobody LOLing at that play did get gears turning in quasi-racist's head or helped another player silently understand the stupidty of racism in a new way. I definitely can see how it could be played among racists to really reinforce group hatred, but I can see just as easily see other scenarios where playing it would help participants, the majority of whom do wrestle with these issues in good faith, to get racism out in an open dialog as real, ongoing thing that still needs work.
posted by 0 at 6:06 AM on January 10


How did you get from there to 'Thou Shalt Not Customise CAH'?

Probably this:

The moment we start to make a list of which cards aren't OK, if we're inclusive of all voices and identities when making the list, it becomes a rather long list. I say the hell with that. It defeats the purpose of the game.

The creators of the game never said the purpose of the game is to be offensive for sake of offending people, they've said the game is meant to be funny for the people playing. And they have said that at least one card was so squicky as to be indefensible, and that it came from a place of immaturity. They've also repeatedly said the game is meant to be fun for everyone, and that if something is offensive but not funny to players, it's missing the point of the game. Telling people "you're doing it wrong" just because they don't want to play with certain cards is much farther from the purpose of the game than a group discarding cards they don't like.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:07 AM on January 10


It is in response to that comment, and I take your point. It's morning, I'm groggy, and so I made an intuitive, but possibly incorrect, assumption: that the paragraph zombieflanders cites implicitly answers "Should we think worse of someone for removing certain cards from the deck?" with "Yes, because removing those cards from the deck violates the spirit of the game." If I got that wrong, I apologize for snarking.

I don't think removing certain cards from the deck violates the spirit of the game, and I think certain cards, like "date rape," lend themselves so easily to unimaginative, boring, and merely offensive play that most games of CAH are better off without them. Not to say that a particularly brilliant person couldn't ever make it funny, but you shouldn't rely on particular brilliance to make things work right. It's too rare.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:27 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


The "Black People" card is probably the worst one where I've been in game in which it was actually played. It used in a quasi-racist way by a player with a history of being kinda racist and everyone was rather uncomfortable that round. We all moved on quietly and so kinda racist (who is, of course, actively racist on some level as we all are) got have fun being quasi-racist and kinda shocking everybody by actually going there and nobody took the opportunity to make it a teachable moment and thus racism as institution had itself a little win of reinforcement. Overall a rather crappy outcome.

Rather than going silent, my friends and I have taken to loudly booing the lazy, "shocking" racist plays. I find that this fits in perfectly with the spirit of the game.
posted by almostmanda at 6:31 AM on January 10 [12 favorites]


And, it comes back around with "Being compared to a Cathy cartoon on Metafilter." Well played indeed.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:33 AM on January 10 [11 favorites]


Aside from all of the potential for lazy "shocking" plays that are sexist/racist/whatever, some of the cards -- I'm thinking specifically about that one about waking up in the Denny's parking lot, but really any of them that are longer than like, 7 words -- are also really hard to use in creative ways, and are therefore also Bad Cards, in my opinion. I've played too many times where those kinds of cards have such an OMG OUTRAGEOUS phrase on them that they have won regardless of what card they are matched up with. Which is weak as hell.
posted by likeatoaster at 6:37 AM on January 10




And, it comes back around with "Being compared to a Cathy cartoon on Metafilter." Well played indeed.


WTF? That was me!
posted by sweetkid at 6:58 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


any of them that are longer than like, 7 words -- are also really hard to use in creative ways, and are therefore also Bad Cards

I agree, these are my least favorite cards in the game. The humor of the pairing shouldn't rely entirely on the whatever-outrageous-scenario of the white card. To be fair to the folks I play with, these cards are almost never chosen as winners for exactly that reason.
posted by pemberkins at 7:12 AM on January 10


And they have said that at least one card was so squicky as to be indefensible, and that it came from a place of immaturity.

I didn't intend to tell anyone they shouldn't remove cards. Rather, I take umbrage at anyone passing judgement on the existence or use of any card by others.

I also, as a close relative of the victim of a brutal murder, and as someone who's witnessed too much street violence, find it confusing that murder, violence, amputation, etc. oriented jokes are somehow less offensive than rape jokes or pedophilia jokes. But that doesn't mean I demand the removal of the "murder most foul" card.

This ALL comes from a place immaturity in a way. And from a place of mature understanding of that immature impulse. If they picked ONE card out of all of these to discontinue, it wasn't because that one card was actually worse than all the others, it was because there was a bigger lobby against it and it was a PR liability.

That card just triggered more people who made more noise. There are plenty of others that could be construed as equally offensive and immature. Say, "Jerking off into a puddle of child's tears", for instance. How many child sex abuse survivors might be deeply triggered by that?

Sure, pull out cards that are too triggering for you, that's totally reasonable. My comment was more directed at the folks who seemed to say certain cards shouldn't exist.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 8:35 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I didn't intend to tell anyone they shouldn't remove cards. Rather, I take umbrage at anyone passing judgement on the existence or use of any card by others.

I don't really see that happening here. This seems to be along the same lines of the "virulent hatred" comment, which similarly seems odd in a thread mostly consisting of people talking about how they like the game.

This ALL comes from a place immaturity in a way. And from a place of mature understanding of that immature impulse. If they picked ONE card out of all of these to discontinue, it wasn't because that one card was actually worse than all the others, it was because there was a bigger lobby against it and it was a PR liability.

Which is an assumption, and an incorrect one to boot. I'll let the creators' words speak for themselves here:
[Max Temkin:] I hope that my blog post [about Dickwolves and rape culture at PAX] speaks for itself, I don't have a lot more to say on the subject. We really like PAX and want to keep going. Our sense of humor may be dark, but as people who have been bullied ourselves, we try very hard not to bully people with our jokes. We wrote the "date rape" card when we were less mature writers, and we removed it a long time ago.
[...]
Obviously the core of Cards Against Humanity is finding shocking or offensive things (historical or contemporary) and trying to identify a funny or absurd angle to make fun of. The goal of our game is to make people laugh, so we have be sensitive to the line between delighting people and upsetting them. If a joke is too upsetting to too many people, it gets cut.

Rape jokes almost always tip the scale to "upsetting people" instead of "delighting them." If I had to guess why, I would say that it's because about a quarter of all women have been sexually assaulted. Additionally, while nearly everyone recognizes that The Trail of Tears and Auschwitz were wrong, not everyone agrees that rape is wrong.

We're not here to tell you what kind of jokes you can or can't make. But Cards Against Humanity is our game, and rape is something we don't want to joke about.
I also, as a close relative of the victim of a brutal murder, and as someone who's witnessed too much street violence, find it confusing that murder, violence, amputation, etc. oriented jokes are somehow less offensive than rape jokes or pedophilia jokes.[...]That card just triggered more people who made more noise.

Really? The old "rape victim lobby" canard? C'mon.

Sure, pull out cards that are too triggering for you, that's totally reasonable. My comment was more directed at the folks who seemed to say certain cards shouldn't exist.

Again, as far as I can tell that's completely absent from this thread. The only possible exception I can see anywhere is "date rape," which even the game's creators said "yeah, it sucked and we were immature."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:57 AM on January 10 [6 favorites]


And here's some further insight into their decision-making process when it comes to what topics they use or don't use:
Your first time with Cards Against Humanity, it’s not even about cracking jokes. Every time you flip a card, someone is laughing or groaning. “Win cards” emerge, in which a card is so profoundly offensive or strange, context is irrelevant. The second time, the shock value wears off. “Virginia Tech Massacre” still gets you a little bit, but soon, the card alone isn't enough. That’s when the next layer unfolds, and wordplay skills comes into play.

A real consistency to the jokes embedded on the cards becomes apparent once you’ve seen the full deck, too. Some of Temkin’s friends are still in Chicago, while others have jobs or graduate school elsewhere. Every week, though, they hop onto a Google+ hangout and hash out new cards.

There are no hard and fast rules for the process, and there isn’t a directive to be offensive.

“Offensive cards are fine, there’s no line that we won’t cross,” he said. “It just has to be funny. If you’re making people uncomfortable, it has to be in service of a great joke. If it’s making them uncomfortable and it’s not funny, if it’s just shocking, it’s not worth it for the game.”
posted by zombieflanders at 9:11 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Really? The old "rape victim lobby" canard? C'mon.

All I'm saying is that it seems there are more people among the audience for this game who are willing to be vocal and united in opposition to rape jokes than there are who are willing to do the same about racism jokes, holocaust jokes, and murder jokes.

I'm not making a value judgement about opposition to rape jokes. I don't like rape jokes, I don't make rape jokes. I happen to have close friends who are rape survivors (that's the word you're looking for, zombieflanders, not "victim"), and I'm well aware that in a room with 4 women and 20 men in it, if you make a rape joke, the odds are that one of those women and one of those men is a rape survivor and could be triggered. In casual social contexts, as opposed to a formalized context where making offensive jokes is the goal, I routinely take men aside and call them out for making rape jokes, because I have often watched them to so in front of rape survivors without knowing it.

I'm making a value judgement about that opposition somehow being more fervent than opposition to jokes about any other sensitive subject. Again, there are opportunities in CAH to trigger multiple other traumatic memories other than those of rape survivors, and yet those cards don't get pulled. And for that matter, isn't there a card in LAH that says "a one way ticket to Steubenville"?

As I said earlier, I have lost a loved one to a gun murder, I patched the bullet holes in her bedroom myself. And I've seen enough street violence that I've had other peoples blood on my bare hands from trying to help them after being shot. I'm not about to demand that any card that triggers my trauma be excluded. And I don't see the ADL or the NAACP successfully lobbying CAH to censor jokes that could trigger their constituents either.

No, my point is that there's no be-all-and-end-all offensive joke that dare not speak it's name, and as person with violence trauma, I don't feel like I'm entitled to call for censorship to mitigate my trauma, and I don't think anybody else is either. If you don't like the cards, don't use them.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:26 AM on January 10


And I don't see the ADL or the NAACP successfully lobbying CAH to censor jokes that could trigger their constituents either.

Is anyone lobbying CAH to remove cards?
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:43 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I'm really not getting who or what you're arguing against here.

As far as we know, no one's lobbying anyone or demanding anything. Nobody's advocating censorship apart from the self- variety. Multiple people including myself have said that you're free to play with or without whatever cards you want. Some people here said they don't like the game because the people they play(ed) with were immature assholes, and some said they don't like and don't use cards, and the creators said how they feel the card creation and gameplay process should work. That's it. There's nothing here that indicates that someone is offended by (or not) by something that, in turn, someone else can show offense at their offense.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:47 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


All I'm saying is that it seems there are more people among the audience for this game who are willing to be vocal and united in opposition to rape jokes than there are who are willing to do the same about racism jokes, holocaust jokes, and murder jokes.

Okay, and....what, then? What is the solution you're looking for (to a problem that I'm not actually seeing exist here in this thread, which is people denouncing anyone who doesn't take out XYZ kinds of cards or whatever)? Should the people expressing discomfort with the rape joke cards also make sure to express discomfort with other kinds of cards? Should people who are uncomfortable with the murder or pedophilia cards who are apparently not expressing themselves here be required to, or what?

Again, there are opportunities in CAH to trigger multiple other traumatic memories other than those of rape survivors, and yet those cards don't get pulled.

Don't get pulled by whom? By anyone, or just by the creators? Seriously, if you have objections to certain kinds of cards in the CAH decks, I think you should engage with the creators of the game, who have seemed to me to be pretty thoughtful and wanting to be open to people talking to them about what works or does not work in the game.
posted by rtha at 11:55 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Now I could be completely wrong, but I see LAH as more of a transformative homage than criticism of CAH, a way of riffing on the form to engage in some black feminist humor.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:13 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I know it's a minority of posters in this thread who think CAH is created by dudebro Tosh.0 antifeminist jerks, but I think this post about the time they were asked to do a forward for a "gifts for men" book shows how much they "get it" in terms of social justice.
posted by sweetkid at 2:36 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I know it's a minority of posters in this thread who think CAH is created by dudebro Tosh.0 antifeminist jerks

I don't see anyone here who has said they think that.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:44 PM on January 10


I said 'minority,' and really, read the blog post.

But also:
But basically? That entire list reads like ideas from a pitch meeting at tosh.0, which is about the dudebroest humour you can find anywhere.
posted by sweetkid at 2:50 PM on January 10


I said 'minority,' and really, read the blog post

Yes, and I think that no one, not even a minority said it. The blog post would have worked fine without the unnecessary quailifier.

But also:
But basically? That entire list reads like ideas from a pitch meeting at tosh.0, which is about the dudebroest humour you can find anywhere.


And from the same poster: "I don't think anyone is saying it is [just a clueless dudebro project]. I think people are saying, rather, that it involves elements of dudebro humour."

In any case, fffm is free to let me know if I was misinterpreting.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:58 PM on January 10


I think it's to be expected that some people think the game is a dudebro sexist racist thing, since as we said in the thread, some people play it that way. I do think this thread has had comments to that end, but you really seem to be against that for some reason and I don't feel like putting together a list of people because it's not about them, and the game isn't for everyone and I don't want to call out anyone. I didn't intend to call anyone out with my comment when i said "a minority."

So anyway. The blog post I posted is a funny troll they did of a "gift guide for men" forward that the book creators went ahead and published anyway.

It includes gems like:

There’s no such thing as too many aprons. Trying on that muslin smock is the perfect excuse to spend more time at stove and table, where a man’s true gifts unwrap themselves.

There’s more to man’s world than the kitchen. There’s also the scullery, the pantry, and the nursery. As the “angel of the house,” your darling cherub is sure to thrill at any appliance that assists him in the holy task of keeping house and home.

posted by sweetkid at 3:04 PM on January 10


You know i was originally going to quote-reply to some specific comments in here, but i realized my refined thoughts on this are more just speaking generally about the game and not in response to any criticisms or debate in here(Although there are some really weak, tiresome, slippery slope arguments going on)

I guess the best way to explain what bugs me, and why it radiates dudebro humor to me is that you have to actually consciously try to not make offensive jokes with it. Either certain cards have to be removed, or you have to see an easy combo and go "oh wait, i shouldn't do that because it's racist/sexist/a weird rape joke".

I've played the game with friends and had it be perfectly fine. I've also played it several times with people i don't know that well, and then had other people in the coffee/tabletop game shop come up and go "oh! can i play too!" and have them proceed to make multiple terrible jokes that elicited awkward laughs or silence from the rest of the table. It just instantly kills the fun of it and leaves everyone kinda awkwardly staring downwards and going "heh... anyways" in a very nervous rockos modern life kind of way.

There's just a bunch of cards that seem to set themselves up for tons of possible combinations in which they're making a really "edgy" joke that just... isn't funny to a lot of people. And simultaneously is the kind of joke a drunk frat boy/brogrammer kind of dude would make.

In the end, i just kinda feel this really hard:

FJT: I'm tired of Cards Against Humanity. When I get together with friends and new acquaintances, it ends up being either the game they want to play or the game they brought and want everyone else to play. And it's starting to get this reputation of being this game to show to people how cool and naughty and transgressive you are. I just want to play something else. Even if its frickin' Apples to Apples at this point.

It's extremely hard, comparatively, to be offensive with apples to apples. The default is just harmlessly silly and playing to the weird quirks of the sense of humor of the judge if you know them well. Not as if that doesn't apply to CAH too, but it almost feels like how modern video games let you pay to cheat; it gives you an easy out if you don't know some obscure joke or type of humor appeal to absurdity kind of thing that would push their buttons of just being SOOO EDGY. And that easy out seems to lead to a lot of awkward, fairly offensive humor.

I'm also completely unsold on their needing to be some outlet for people to "transcend the taboos of society" and make rape/racist/etc jokes. That's called reddit, and it shouldn't be allowed to escape its cage.
posted by emptythought at 4:04 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


but I think this post about the time they were asked to do a forward for a "gifts for men" book shows how much they "get it" in terms of social justice.

It's great that Max Temkin "gets it". But even if Max "gets it", this doesn't suddenly make Cards Against Humanity "dudebro"-proof. But even if dudebro's play it and just skip or toss all the social justice-y cards, they're not playing it incorrectly either. Once something is released to the public, it's meaning and purpose will change. The creator's voice will matter less over time and as more people play it. Especially since it's game, a form of entertainment that invites it's audience to participate and craft their own experience and history. And especially since it was created on the Internet, which itself transforms and alchemizes ideas beyond any original recognition. This isn't the first time it's happened, and it's not even the first social game it's happened too. I mean, anyone curious can just go see how Monopoly was based on the Landlord's Game, meant to show that property owners like Uncle Pennybags are supposed to be the bad guy.
posted by FJT at 4:40 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


There are a lot of cards I find offensive and unfunny and I discard them in CAH. I'll probably remove them from my deck sometime. I hope these get added to the online version, which I occasionally play with SRS/Fempire folks. We wish you could just discard terrible cards there since it sucks to have shit that you find reprehensible in your hand and have to decide between playing it and looking at it forever.
posted by NoraReed at 5:47 PM on January 10




It's great that Max Temkin "gets it". But even if Max "gets it", this doesn't suddenly make Cards Against Humanity "dudebro"-proof. But even if dudebro's play it and just skip or toss all the social justice-y cards, they're not playing it incorrectly either.


I think Max Temkin does some interesting work and the company has genuinely socially conscious projects and goals. I also think people can play Cards Against Humanity in a racist gross way. I think both those things are possible.
posted by sweetkid at 6:08 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


So, I never did end up editing the deck for Saturday's game due to a combination of laziness and lack of free time. It actually turned out pretty well. While everyone mentioned they had at least a couple of cards in their hand that were too gross (in the social, not visceral sense) to play, no one really wanted to just discard and draw another card.

I held "surprise sex" in my hand since picking it up, and I can't see any way to have been able to play that. That being said I was really surprised that I actually managed to use "roofies," which I was also expecting to hold on until the end, in a productive manner ("Vladimir Putin's favorite snack is Fancy Feast stuffed with roofies.") So I guess even I am surprised in the versatility of the cards.
posted by griphus at 6:50 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Friday night was apparently made for me submitting, like, 20 ideas to Ladies Against Humanity, and I've got to admit, I'm excited and obsessively tracking the post whenever one of mine shows up.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:19 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


This one is not even dirty or gender specific but it might be one of my favorites.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:22 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


An interview with Ladies Against Humanity's creator, Kate Stayman-London, in which she talks about her motivation for creating the site:

[M]y friend was just saying it just sucks that there aren’t more women, female-centric jokes in the cards. And I thought, Oh, I should have that job, and my friend said, "If you make the Tumblr, you will have that job." And I thought, But I have things to do… That night we had 60,000 hits.
posted by cjelli at 11:52 AM on January 16


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