Irreverant card game seeks to save America

Cards Against Humanity, a cocky card game company known for its attention-seeking pranks, has purchased land on the U.S.-Mexico border to block President Trump from building his wall. The holiday promotion, which invited customers to purchase $15 US of products from its website – money to be used in part to acquire the land then legally defend its purchase – sold out just hours after its launch. You could say it was a “bigly” and “huuuge” success.

“Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans,” said Cards Against Humanity on its web site. “He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.”

Supporters received an illustrated map of the land, a certificate declaring the company’s promise to fight the wall, some new game cards, and a few “other surprises”. Customers had to complete a pre-purchase survey that included personal questions and the million-dollar question, “Who did you vote for in the 2016 election?”

The specific site of the purchase has not been disclosed. A video describing the project says that it bought “acres” on the US-Mexico border, vaguely illustrated by footage of wild horses galloping across desert scrubland.

The company has engaged in prior pranks like selling $50,000 worth of nothing on Black Friday, America’s biggest retail sales day, in 2015. Last year they raised $100,000 by inciting customers to dig a “Holiday Hole” to nowhere. Earlier this year, the company launched a new card game that skewered the tech industry, called Cards Against Silicon Valley.  That edition features cards labeled “Nintendo-based drinking games” and “understated sexism”, the latter eerily prescient of the tsunami of sexual assault and harrassment cases emerging from America’s entertainment and tech industries of late. (About that presience?  In July, they mocked gender stereotypes with a pink-only version of their popular card deck, proudly announcing that it would cost $5 more, merely because it was pink and targeted to women.)

The company also applied to trademark the term “fake news,” Trump’s favorite description of news network CNN.

Not familiar with Cards Against Humanity? It’s an easily played (um, drinking) card game that costs about $25. Players take turns reading cards featuring questions, then answering it with wildly inappropriate responses, which are listed on a series of cards drawn each round.

Personally, the appearance of the game at any party is the silent siren that it’s time for me to leave. But when a company uses its popular appeal to tackle social issues or indefensible national politics, I’m left thinking, hate the game, love the game-maker.

 

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