Thursday, 7 May 2015

Review: Cards Against Humanity

quote [ But we all know the direction the game wants people to go in because it subtitles itself ?A party game for horrible people.? It openly, plainly, even joyfully acknowledges its content, with things like ?The profoundly handicapped,? ?Black people,? ?Auschwitz,? ?Homeless people,? and ?Surprise sex? which, if you?re not versed in the term, is a euphemism for rape. ]

tl;dr: it's a pretty shitty game, for plenty of reasons.

I think a comment on the review itself explains just why it's so fucking bad; I'll quote the part that is important here:

So then I'm with another group of people a couple of months later, these guys are a bit more laid back, also more into edgier humour, everyone's drinking and having a good time, someone takes out Cards Against Humanity. What the hell, I think, maybe it works better as an actual party game, rather than a sit-around-the-table-and-play-board-games game. We institute a house rule that the "winner" of each combination must take a shot, and... First 20 minutes pass fine, everyone's having a laugh, the jokes are mostly about sex, poop, dead celebrities, I don't remember what else. But then a particularly horrible card combination comes up, involving hitting children and... well something else as well. It gets a laugh from a few people, but one person breaks down and starts crying. It made us feel sick to realize that it wasn't just that the card combination was a reminder to that person of what they and their sibling went through, but that the fact we LAUGHED at the card felt to the person that we were condoning child abuse as a joke.


Yeah. Fuck that noise.
[SFW] [games] [-9 Bad]
[by azazel@6:03pmGMT]


kylemcbitch said[2] @ 6:24pm GMT on 7th May [Score:5 Underrated]
It's literally a game that advertises itself as for horrible people.

And the comment you quote in the extended, they play with alcohol and laugh at the horrible things the card suggest, until someone at the table felt a personal connection to the horrible joke, and suddenly it was bad.

Well fuck them, if they laughed at dead babies or "can't even remember what else" and thought that was fine, but then wanted to draw the line when someone made a joke someone in the group had feelings about. I guarantee you someone, somewhere cares deeply about a dead celebrity, a dead baby, the Holocaust, etc. If you aren't comfortable making fun of your own shit, you have no right making fun of others, period. That is sort of the point, if your feelings are such that you can't handle that, then don't play the fucking game.

As for the article itself, it's obvious click-bait. Of course Cards Against Humanity is offensive, do we really need 3 guys to explain to us (like we are emotionally stunted children) that it's not nice to make fun of people or horrible events? They claim they are against the game because they want to open gaming up to everyone, I guess that just means everyone that shares their bland sense of humour and over-developed sense of morality.

I say fuck em, and the high horse they rode in on.

ENZ said @ 7:48pm GMT on 7th May [Score:2 Insightful]
Gaming should indeed be open for everyone, but that doesn't mean that every game needs to be for everyone. Cards Against Humanity is basically just a more crude version of Apples to Apples anyway. And there's a kid's edition of Apples to Apples if you don't want there to be the possibility of any risque card combination.
kylemcbitch said @ 10:01pm GMT on 7th May
Even Apples to Apples can be fucked up, because it's not the game or the cards, it's how you play them.

This whole article is akin to someone being upset with madlibs their friend filled out to include rape jokes. Yes, the game allows for it... but it also allows you to play answers that are not awful, good luck winning since the person who plays the black cards decides the winner.

So really, all of these complaints can be summed up as either:

Get over yourself, or get nicer friends.
robotroadkill said @ 4:13am GMT on 8th May
I remember back when Tshirt Hell was a website (maybe it still is, too lazy to check) They'd post hate mail from people who did this exact thing. "All your t-shirts are so funny, except the one about colon cancer. My dad died from colon cancer you fuckers!" Total hypocrisy.
rylex said @ 6:20pm GMT on 7th May [Score:1 Funsightful]
Well it's like the saying goes, you can't have "manslaughter" without "laughter".
ENZ said[1] @ 6:27pm GMT on 7th May [Score:1 Insightful]
Black humor isn't for everyone. Obviously someone who experienced abuse isn't going to find jokes about it funny, but that doesn't mean there's no value to shit that's provocative. Like how I'm sure people who have had their lives financially ruined and had to declare bankruptcy might not enjoy Monopoly too much, or people who lost a loved one to medical malpractice would find losing at Operation not at all funny. Laughing at a child abuse joke or a racially provocative joke doesn't necessarily mean you condone child abuse or racism. The appeal of black humor comes from how absurd it can be. Because the world can be pretty goddamned absurd, and the most any of us can really do about it is to laugh it off.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 8:03pm GMT on 7th May [Score:2 Funny]
Ahem. I believe you mean, "Humor of Color."
Bruceski said @ 7:26pm GMT on 7th May
CaH goes beyond black humor. Black humor is jokes that aren't afraid to follow the humor into dark places, not ones that are only "funny" because they break taboo.

Contrast Louis CK's "you expected me to rape you on the off chance you were into that sort of thing?" With the prison rape comments that show up any time some jerk gets arrested.
ENZ said @ 7:42pm GMT on 7th May
A black comedy (or dark comedy) is a comic work that employs farce and morbid humor, which, in its simplest form, is humor that makes light of subject matter usually considered taboo

That's literally the definition of black humor. It doesn't need to be making any kind of point. Like how toilet humor can simply be someone farting. No setup, no juxtaposition, just someone farting. Critique that as you will, but many people find that shit hysterical.

Because CoH is only as offensive as the player chooses to make it. Like how it's possible to play through Postal 2 in it's entirety without killing a single NPC.
Dissonant said @ 7:25pm GMT on 7th May
That's an old version. The "Surprise sex" card has been taken out, along with other things.
ooo[......7 said @ 12:32am GMT on 8th May
hooray! i have the older version with all the offensive cards!
ENZ said @ 12:54am GMT on 8th May
And doesn't every set come with like a dozen blank cards, so you can just write in whatever deranged thing you want?
ooo[......7 said @ 8:55pm GMT on 8th May
yes, if anyone ever tells me that they have an idea for a card, i give them a blank and a pen.

ive had mixed results.
ENZ said @ 10:23pm GMT on 8th May
Being unfunny? Being offensive? Or through fucking up the syntax so it doesn't actually work with anything?
ooo[......7 said @ 11:31pm GMT on 8th May
ENZ said @ 12:17am GMT on 9th May
azazel said @ 5:42pm GMT on 8th May
And if it hadn't, a lot of people here would be defending that version too.
kylemcbitch said @ 6:35pm GMT on 8th May
Yes, I would be. Because again, the cards aren't the issue... it's how you play them.

Lets take Surprise Sex, since that seems to be a stick up people's asses. There is a black card that is essentially "what is the worst?" I'd say rape was, and thus I could play that card straight and not be offensive. But since I am me, I'd probably play "Hope."
yevishere said @ 7:53pm GMT on 7th May
If you can't handle a joke why are you playing?
lilmookieesquire said @ 8:04pm GMT on 7th May
" felt to the person that we were condoning child abuse as a joke."

You do not play that type of game with that type of person.

It's very easy- if you don't like this kind of game, you don't play it, and you don't buy it. If someone plays it at a party, you can be like "I really hate this game" and that way they can know to not play the game around you, or stop inviting you to their parties.
azazel said @ 5:42pm GMT on 8th May
How would you know what "that type of person" is? Do you know all your friends' past, including the things they've not told you about? What about as a party game? Would you need to ask everyone "hey, were you raped as a child? If so, maybe this game isn't for you."?
kylemcbitch said @ 6:37pm GMT on 8th May [Score:1 Underrated]
Sorry, but you can't play the game without someone explaining the jist of it to you. And if someone tells you that it makes horrible jokes about horrible things, and you are still willing to play, then you have no one to blame but yourself when it makes fun of something you care about.

The fact of the matter is, if you are willing to play UNTIL it makes fun of you, then you are a horrible person because you were perfectly willing to make fun of other people's tragedies but not your own.
b said @ 8:18pm GMT on 7th May
I read parts of the review, skimmed some, skipped some.

Basically, it sounds like some liberal white guys proving how good they are by trashing a game that people already know is chock full of toilet humour, racism-based humour, sex-based humour and all their permutations.

The game in and of itself is fairly inoffensive. Yes, some of the cards might trouble some people. Yes, it lends itself to black humour, crude humour, but ultimately each game is dependent on the people playing it. It's obviously not for everyone, and anyone dumb enough to play it with a rape or abuse survivor without first making it explicitly clear what the game contains or warning them that there may be triggering cards, is just as culpable as the game or anyone else if someone breaks down in tears.

This is just such a dumb review. It's not even based on the game, but the content of the game. The gameplay works. It is fun, allows for a lot of laughs and gives people the thrill of taboo humour. Most of the points they touch in in the review are based on the possibility of offending people and how that's bad and not that the game is simple, easy to play and a lot of fun with the right crowd.

Case in point: last weekend I played with a bunch of people I didn't know well and the game was a bit of a dud. No one was hurt or upset and we still had some laughs, but in the end, it wasn't really a satisfying game to me. It felt like a lot of people were being cautious or that they didn't really know what white cards were funny for what black cards. One turn I literally said, "these are all terrible, I'm picking the worst one". (For reference my black card was "What are my parents hiding from me?" and the answer I chose was "A Men's Health Subscription". That's how lame the game was)

I'm siding with the others that think this is just a click bait article. That's what it feels like to me too. Let's take a popular game that's generally harmless, if ribald and potentially offensive, and tear it down based on our white guilt. Page views!
b said @ 8:19pm GMT on 7th May
ps- mod refers to article, not post.
azazel said @ 5:40pm GMT on 8th May
How the fuck would you know if you were playing it with a rape survivor? Not everyone goes telling all their friends that they were raped and that it can still trigger from shit that people do or say. Not everyone tells their friends that they've been abused.
b said @ 6:15pm GMT on 8th May
Fair point. However, I think that anyone playing this game for the first time would either have heard about it or have it described to them by the rest of the group.

I think anyone who suffered a trauma might ask a few questions first so that they could know whether or not it was a game they were comfortable with, and I'm sure they could do it in a way that didn't let everyone know they had some private pain they hadn't shared.

I mean, when it boils down to it, if someone who does have past trauma, doesn't share it with friends but doesn't also protect themselves from triggering events, they're asking for trouble. It could happen with anything- a movie, a game, a documentary or just a particular discussion among friends. If someone hasn't disclosed their trauma to friends, you can't blame thos epeople for not knowing about it, and we can't go around assuming everyone has been raped until we know they weren't.
gendo666 said @ 8:30pm GMT on 7th May
The first time I played this was with a friend, my girlfriend , my friend's parents and her little sister. I had just met these people.
I was quite happy we were all monsters and that the game "enabled" me do so. - Also, if something doesn't "enable" you to do something - does it "disable" you? and isn't that a bad word.
can someone be "differently abled"? by something that isn't a swift kick in the crotch?
It's clickbait like that thing earlier this week like that "mens beards are full of "poop particles " which the article then sort of defuses by saying everything is full of shit.
arrowhen said @ 9:27pm GMT on 7th May
Don't play in the sun without putting on sunscreen first. Don't play in the snow without putting on warm clothing first. Don't play in the squicky parts of the human psyche without discussing boundaries first.
foobar said @ 12:57am GMT on 8th May
It seems to me Cards Against Humanity generally punches up. The Batman/child abuse joke is making fun of Batman, not child abuse, and even those that don't are pointing out prejudices, and force people to acknowledge them in a nonthreatening way.
azazel said @ 5:41pm GMT on 8th May
Yeah, I don't see that.
Menchi said @ 2:12am GMT on 8th May
I think the fact that the article's authors all automatically assume that the cards will be played to reinforce racist and sexist stereotypes (and that those combinations would win) rather than subvert them says more about the authors than it does about the game.
azazel said @ 5:40pm GMT on 8th May
How are pre-created jokes supposed to be subvertive?
kylemcbitch said @ 6:33pm GMT on 8th May
Because they are not pre-created jokes. They are subject (black cards) and possible responses (white cards.) What you play in response to a black card IS ON YOU. If you put down something racist, or sexist, or what have you... that's on you.

How is this a hard concept to understand?
Menchi said @ 10:20pm GMT on 11th May
By the article's standard, every joke is pre-created, because it's nothing more than merely rearranging words that already exist.
azazel said @ 6:10pm GMT on 8th May
Aight, I'm out. For reals this time.

(For what it's worth, I know that dark jokes can be done well, I'm arguing that CAH don't. And ya'll are fucking hypocrites that go "oh look at this stand-up artist saying rape jokes are bad that's so sensible and look at this video telling us why sexist jokes are harmful that's great" but as soon as there's even the smallest fucking criticism against something you like you go "but it's just a joke" and "you have to be able to joke about everything" just like you go "drawing racist cartoons is a basic human right" and rather than add on "but you shouldn't do it just to offend people" you go "and it's their right to do so" so fuck that noise too)

But as a queer person and as a rape survivor, I'm telling ya'll this. I don't feel welcome here. This is not a safe space for me, which I've noticed before -- rape joke discussions in particular tend to go "wah wah jokes are important to me!" rather than "it sure sucks for rape survivors to hear this shit all the fucking time" -- and so I think it's time to leave. You're not as bad as reddit, but you're still pretty fucking horrible. My trauma is not a joke. My identity is not a joke. But this site keeps telling me that they are, and I won't accept that.

Most of the time, I'm alright here. I can engage in discussions freely. Then suddenly: rape joke to the face!

No thanks.

I wanted to last the year out. I really did. I've been working on a super-awesome Secret Santa gift; hand-made and everything. That's obviously not happening.
kylemcbitch said @ 7:10pm GMT on 8th May [Score:2 Underrated]
I don't usually play this card, but I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I understand where you are coming from... but I still don't have sympathy for you. It's not on other people to help you be okay. It's up to you. SE has never been anything but supportive of it's members, but that support doesn't extend to people changing their sincerely held beliefs about expression, humour, or really anything. If people don't agree with you, they get to tell you that. That's the wonderful thing about this site. If you need to leave to feel safe, then I wish you well, but I am never going to agree with you on this matter. If you are incapable of being friends with people that don't share your opinions, then honestly it's probably good that you're gone.

As far as your identity and trauma being a joke, I don't think anyone here would say there are. However, I will say your reaction to people siding with black humour and free expression is a joke, and the fact you want to leave on a note dripping with "woe is me" histrionics only reinforces my opinion we're probably better off without you.
ooo[......7 said @ 8:59pm GMT on 8th May [Score:0 Underrated]
parts of this make good sense.

ill miss his difficult to pronounce name showing up. it was fun to try to pronounce it ever time i saw it.
ooo[......7 said @ 9:12pm GMT on 8th May [Score:0 Underrated]
also, stop moderating. you've left your post.
ooo[......7 said @ 9:12pm GMT on 8th May [Score:-5 Troll]
filtered comment under your threshold
ENZ said @ 12:11am GMT on 9th May [Score:2 Underrated]
What about the hypocrisy of saying "black humor can be done well, until it takes the piss out of something that happened to me"?

Nobody is making fun of your personal trauma, no one here is even making fun of rape victims. Rape is a shitty thing to happen to anyone. So is murder, fatal accidents, suicide, battery, etc. All these can be the subject of humor. It takes the edge off the horrors of the world. Because I can't even imagine how anyone could function if they treat every subject with the utmost seriousness. Can you honestly say you've never laughed at a joke or sketch where someone runs into traffic and gets hit by a bus? Have you never watched a horror movie and rooted for the monster to kill the insufferable teenaged characters?

I've seen 'safe space' used a lot in recent years. It seems reasonable enough, wanting to be able to post in a community away from the trolls and jerks. The problem arises when it comes to setting limits in what you're willing to accommodate. Of course we don't ever take rape as a personal experience or even as a concept lightly, that's something that affects you personally and millions of others. Then someone who feels the same way about murder chimes in, their sister was murdered and it deeply affects them. Then someone who lost their father to drunk driving raises their voice. All these sound perfectly reasonable. But then you go on and on, someone with arachnophobia says they get panic attacks when they even look at a picture of a spider, so no pictures of spiders. Someone says they fell down the stairs when they were young, making it so they missed the big game at school and lost their opportunity at a college scholarship, so slapstick bring up too many bitter memories. Then you get people who never actually suffered a traumatic event or suffered any psychological trauma, they just don't want anything that could upset them. How dare someone say being overweight is unhealthy?

Yes, that was the slippery slope fallacy. Sadly though that shit actually happens.
arrowhen said @ 8:09pm GMT on 8th May
What's sad about this is that if instead of saying, "This is not a safe space for me; I'm leaving," you had said, "Could you guys tone down the rape jokes? They make this an unsafe space for me," you would have received no shortage of respect and accommodation.

I mean, look, I'm not going to censor myself just on the off chance that some hypothetical random stranger might potentially be offended, but when the mental well-being of someone I like to think of as a friend is on the line? Of course I would! And I'm an utter bastard -- just imagine how nice the actual decent folk here would have been.
ooo[......7 said @ 9:00pm GMT on 8th May
bltrocker said @ 7:44pm GMT on 11th May
Your trauma and identity are not jokes, but trauma and identities are ripe for humor on a multitude of axis. You're a good dude, but I don't think you're seeing people's points with clarity on this one. Safe e-travels if you're gone for good.
freebased said @ 11:35pm GMT on 8th May
feel yer pain there bruv, if i was getting cucked id be pissed off at any random shit i could distract myself with too

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