Sunday, January 25, 2015

Have you played Cards Against Humanity (CAH)?

I recently played Cards Against Humanity (CAH) for the first time. I have to admit, I laughed to tears.

People liken CAH to the game Apples to Apples… for horrible people! It is the number one best seller at Amazon in the toys and games category. (As I write this, this is the only source you can purchase the game.) CAH came out in 2011. It has repeatedly sold out.

Having played the game has lead me to talk with others about their experience as well as do some personal research.

CAH is problematic and satirical. If you’ve not played it, be prepared for awkwardness. (I’d suggest you know those with whom you are sharing CAH well!)

CAH is a metaphor for the times we live in. Living without really thinking, without really reflecting on not only what is important but who this game touches. IMHO, the game lacks soul and grace. It reflects our media, social media, and the ugly, dark side of humanity including our continuing desensitivity towards shock value.

This game is an equal opportunity offender. This game rails against political correctness. It is a huge, ‘your mother raised you to be better than this.’

“I think the game perpetuates a pretty nasty culture: ‘Hey, look how enlightened I am because I'm beyond race/religion and can make nasty jokes about it!’” said Adrienne Ciskey, a game designer. “It comes across as a game for overly privileged hipsters who believe they are entitled to this lifestyle where everyone worships them to feel ‘in’ on the joke.”

I do believe CAH has the potential to start some much needed serious dialogue among people. It challenges humor, prejudice and our continuing inability to live the Golden Rule. I believe the game has the potential to challenge our confirmation bias*  - our minds default mode to attend selectively to information that supports already existing beliefs, and to discount information that goes against our beliefs.

If you are willing to have a ‘face-in-the-mirror’ moment to explore your bias, known and unknown, check out the Implicit Project at The website offers a whole series of tests to examine bias, diversity and inclusion.

Got bias? Game on!


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