Compiled and edited by Eve Weston and Zachary Pincus-Roth, with contributions from Ali Trachta, Lisa Horowitz, Jennifer Swann, Hillel Aron, Jill Stewart and Katie Buenneke
What does Lance Armstrong's missing testicle have in common with Michelle Obama's arms? The answer is: They're both white cards in Cards Against Humanity, a “free party game for horrible people,” according to the game's own Kickstarter site.
For those of you who aren't already wise to America's edgiest new pastime, Cards Against Humanity – its name a play on “crimes against humanity” – is a game most similar to Apples to Apples, but rated R, if not NC-17. While playing the game doesn't require extreme violence or nudity, cards make reference to both, and players have been known to blush.
The game was created by eight Chicago-based, improv-loving high school buddies who reconvened during college to celebrate New Year's Eve, by inventing – and then playing – their own party games. Cards Against Humanity is the one that still looked sexy in the morning light.
At its simplest, Cards Against Humanity is a multi-player, fill-in-the-blanks game using black “question” cards and white “answer” cards (detailed instructions below). But it's unusual in many respects: It was funded through Kickstarter. It's downloadable for free on the internet. And it's not hard to create your own version – which we've done.
We hope that Cards Against Los Angeles will give you a new perspective on our fair city, turning you on to lesser-known attractions and helping you think of familiar names in strange new ways. Let's just say this: A round of the game could culminate in the sentence, “The best trick at the Magic Castle is when they pull The Beach Boys out of Jon Hamm's bulge.”
To begin, each player draws 10 white cards. A Card Czar is then randomly chosen (this is a rotating title – don't worry, you'll get your turn) and plays a black card from the single black card pile. The Card Czar reads the question to the group, and each player answers by passing one white card (or two or three, depending on the question) face down to the Czar.
The Czar shuffles all answers and reads them aloud. The Chicagoans emphasize, “For full effect, the Card Czar should usually re-read the black card before presenting each answer.” After all, this game isn't just about winning and losing, it's also about attitude. And shock value.
When the hoots, hollers and hurling have died down, the Czar picks a favorite. Whoever played the favored answer keeps the black card as one Awesome Point and everyone draws back up to ten white cards. Then a new player ascends to Card Czar and play begins again. The original instructions don't say how the game ends, but we assume you can determine the length of game however you'd like, and whoever has the most Awesome Points at the end wins. (Woot-woot!)
See also: 30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time
For more info and other variations on game play, download the original game at cardsagainsthumanity.com.
Eve Weston on Twitter:
Zachary Pincus-Roth on Twitter:
Public Spectacle, L.A. Weekly's arts & culture blog, on Facebook and Twitter:
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.