Stop playing Cards Against Humanity and start playing DICK instead

The writer in me always loved to play Apples to Apples when I was younger — it was finally a game that would reward my clever wordplay and sense of humor (or at least, sometimes, depending on who I was playing with). But as the ribald alternative Cards Against Humanity began to catch on, I typically found myself filled with disappointment.

After the laughter resided, anyway. I definitely laughed. But they were cheap, empty laughs. Of course you laugh. The game is built on provoking cheap uncomfortable laughs. And frankly, it does that quite well! That's all it really does though — all it's ever done. It gives you permission to say vulgar things and laugh at them, which could be entertaining for a while. But there's nothing unique about the experience, just like there's no strategy involved in shocking people with Hitler's Cum on Barbara Streisand's 9/11 Applesauce, or whatever random combination of cards you get.

(It did also require me to explain fleshlights to my parents and in-laws, which was, erm, less than ideal.)

I've felt this for a while (before the fleshlight incident), and as such, was not surprised but disappointed to learn that the company behind Cards Against Humanity has let a toxic culture fester all this time. It turns out all those racist and sexist cards maybe weren't meant to be ironic after all, but actually reflective of the company's gross working atmosphere. (Those who remain in that cesspool are trying to unionize, which I support, though I'm hesitant about how much good it will do in the end.)

If you're looking for a similar card game to tickle your funny bone with vulgarity that makes you less complicit in a disgusting culture of unironic Bro Dude Irony, I suggest you check out DICK. It's exactly the same as Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, except the answer cards in your hand are all out-of-context quotes from Moby Dick. This means it's at once more shocking and offensive than Cards Against Humanity, while also requiring much more strategy and thoughtfulness, like the original Apples to Apples. These are just some of the cleaner options:

Moby Dick is a long book full of lots of weird shit. A bunch of lonely, horny, bitter sailors in the 1800s are going to come up with some way more interestingly fucked up things to do in their time than the frat boys at Cards Against Humanity could ever imagine. But the ribald humor is so esoteric, so antiquated that it really makes the game exciting again. And much, much funnier.

So forget Cards Against Humanity. Go out to the park with your friends and social distance with some DICK. If the neighborhood kids get upset, just tell them that you're studying classical literature.

Dick: A Card Game Based on The Novel by Herman Melville