If you like card games and board games even a little bit, chances are you know Cards Against Humanity—it's the most popular 'thing' of its kind, having earned like $12 million bucks. Which sucks, because it's awful.
There's a great, comprehensive review over at Shut Up & Sit Down you should read, or bookmark to send to your table gaming friends, or both, on why the "let's guffaw about Batman and child abuse" card game is not super funny, not super good, and maybe even a little embarrassing:
If you can't own a joke, you shouldn't tell it. My biggest problem with Cards Against Humanity is perhaps the same reason many find it so thrilling – it provides permission to tell jokes you don't dare by removing all sense of responsibility.
I fundamentally don't think that Cards Against Humanity is a funny game. The cards create jokes, but that isn't what makes people laugh. The laughter comes from the giddy thrill of behaving in a way that we know is taboo. Your mate just said something massively racist, but it's fine – they didn't choose to put those cards together. And your other friend that did? Well, they didn't really have many other cards. Besides, all the other cards are nasty – it's really just the nature of the game.
This removal of responsibility is frankly just weak. The appeal relies on raucous tittering about people saying things that they aren't supposed to, but in reality you can say whatever the fuck you want.
Of course all the guys at Shut Up & Sit Down are good friends of mine and I play lots of fun games with them, and I think they are the best board gaming site, and I'll certainly be biased in favor of their arguments. But the thing I like loads about the piece is it calmly addresses every argument that every dude who will pop a vein over his right to make an "edgy" rape joke will constantly try to present as if he were the first one to come up with it.
It's a good takedown not only of this particular game, but of geek culture's fixation in general on the idea that arbitrary, witless "offense" is some kind of sacred bastion of humor, play, fun or speech. It just doesn't have to be that way. We are supposed to be smarter than that.
I also love the wonderful, funny illustrations by Tom Humberstone, so check those out, too.