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Cards Against Humanity for the Cultured and Dignified: DICK

It’s the game where meaning is plural and unstable... a faithful adaptation of Moby-Dick to the form of a party game. Gather a half-dozen of your bosom friends and jointly plunge your harpoons into the ecstatic flank of delight and deliciousness. Metaphorically (1)

We know what you may be thinking: Cards Against Humanity is, by definition, a raunchy card game that will cause your more posh relatives to bristle so how can it possibly be adapted to appease intellectuals. In DICK, the brilliant card creation from Why So Ever, each of the response cards features a cheeky quote straight from the pages of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, adding just enough literary significance that the ribald card game feels more dignified. It's titillatingly sacrilegious that the literary artistry in Moby Dick—undeniably one of the most cherished books in the world of the well-read—be applied to a provocative but impossibly fun card game and that's exactly what makes the game so successful. If you love Cards Against Humanity you'll no doubt enjoy DICK and, if Cards Against Humanity ruffles your feathers, we think DICK may be the alternative for you.

Moby-Dick questions everything and holds nothing sacred. It’s weirder, funnier, much more irreverent than you think. It would be an exaggeration to say that the book is nonstop sex jokes, but it is nonstop playfulness and irreverence. If the book were sentient and knew that it had become some kind of sacred cow, I think it would be delighted for us to tip that cow over (2)

To be fair, we want to admit two things. First, we aren't big Cards Against Humanity fans. The game too often seems to devolve into a distasteful 'thats what she said' competition rather than a battle of wits and we tend to lose interest. Second, we have (admittedly on more than one occasion) attended the annual 25 hour read-a-thon of Moby Dick, in its entirety, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA where Melville departed on the whaleship, Acushnet, in 1841 and where he found inspiration for several locations in the story. With this in mind, we feel confident that we the exact target audience for the game. That's not to say that the game is devoid of immaturity and lewdness. We just find the salaciousness feels tamed by the addition of 19th century prose.

100 mock-serious questions for our times. 375 answers taken word-for-word from the pages of Moby-Dick. Surpassingly hilarious (1)

The premise of the game is quite simple. Each player is dealt 12 response cards that they use to complete prompt phrases and hopefully win the favor of the judge. Players take turns in the role of 'judge', drawing the green prompt card and making the often challenging decision of which of the offered response cards completes the prompt best. This could be the funniest completion, sharpest completion, strangest completion, whatever the judge feels is the subjective best. The subjectivity adds a hugely fun element to the game as the response cards should be selected with the particular judge in mind (what one judge might love, another might loathe!). It's a test of how well one can think on their feet and how well a group knows the preferences of one another. With an added element of Herman Melville's truly remarkable language!

While we're on the topic of Moby Dick, we have to share these exceptional shirts from the New Bedford Whaling Museum that are just too on theme with DICK . The front reads 'Call me' while the back finishes 'Ishmael', referencing the iconic opening line of Melville's masterpiece. It's a playful shirt that pairs beautifully with the card game for a lighthearted holiday gift!


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