Card Against Humanity, the extremely popular and crude party-game cousin to Apples to Apples, is now available for free to anyone with a web-connected phone, tablet, or computer. Cards Against Originality is a free, unofficial web app implementation of the game, including all five expansions, created on a lark by UX/UI designer Dawson Whitfield.
Cards Against Originality copies the original game card-for-card. Players are dealt a hand of white noun cards (ranging from innocuous words like “Bubbles” to the eyebrow-raising, like “Holocaust Deniers”). A rotating judge draws a black card that has a phrase with a missing word (like “___: my anti-drug”) and selects the funniest white card to complete the phrase after everyone else submits one from their hand before drawing up and passing on to the next judge. Setting up a new game is as simple as sending a link to your friends, who confirm when ready to play on any device with a working web browser. You still need to be in the same room to play, so this is more of a card substitute than a remote-play version of the popular party game.
Because the original game was released under a Creative Commons license, Cards Against Originality is totally legal so long as Whitfield makes no profit from it. Anyone with a printer and sufficient time/paper has already been able to play for free with a print-and-play version of the full game available from its official website. Cards Against Originality simply lowers the bar even further, such that now a group of friends with smart phones in their pockets can liven up any bar or party with subversive poop jokes.
Cards Against Humanity creator Max Temkin told Engadget that he knows about and fully supports the project, acknowledging the derivative nature of the original game.
“I’m glad that our fans have been able to take Cards Against Humanity and remix it into their own original things; that’s been a goal since we started working on our project,” he says. “Cards Against Humanity is obviously a remix of the comedy and games and pop culture that we love, and it’s extremely cool to see our thing inspiring people to make stuff.”
Temkin’s laissez-faire attitude toward Cards Against Originality is likely also rooted in the fact that he has no desire to create an app version himself, alleviating the risk of direct competition.
“We don’t think it’s very fun to play Cards Against Humanity on a phone, which is why we never shipped an app,” he says. “We don’t want to make something slightly worse than the thing we’re already making. One of the best parts of playingCards Against Humanity is just having an analogue experience with people and making your friends laugh. We’ve got a handful of new projects in the works and some of them are digital, but we think a phone game calls for a very different design than a card game.”