Cult of Outrage: Cards Against Humanity Creators Pull Offensive Card from Offensive Game
This is a story of things going right. Sometimes, because of the formulaic nature of stories involving the Cult of Outrage, many people automatically “pick a side” devoid of context. Take the case of a story from Fusion.net, which commented on a series of pictures that went viral, showing someone burning an offensive card from the offensive game Cards Against Humanity. On the surface, this might seem like yet another case of political correctness run amok, but it’s actually kind of a nice story.
Cards Against Humanity is a game where players assemble answers to questions from cards with, as Jessica Roy writes, “purposefully lewd and funny pop culture references.” Essentially it is a game that is designed to be offensive and encourages players to ridicule the inappropriate. A Tumblr user named Jonah posted pictures of himself burning a card with the phrase “passable transvestites” on it. He captioned it “DEATH TO TRANSPHOBIA.”
The pictures of the burning card went viral and they found their way to the inboxes of the game’s creators. Max Temkin posted a response saying he was sorry for the card calling it “a mean, cheap joke.” He said that they decided to remove the card from the game “a while ago.”
Normally, what makes these instances of internet outrage so distasteful is that their anger at legitimate social injustice is misfired at artists or writers rather than the actual societal institutions/forces causing a particular group actual harm. It’s a cheap PR “win” in a political game where real victories are scarce. The creators of the game didn’t remove the card because of the pressure of the viral horde, but instead made that decision on their own.
While there may be an argument to be made that it is a bit disingenuous to be “okay” with a game that seeks to offend except when it comes to the specific things that you find offensive, it is also unrealistic to expect even those with the best senses of humor to be immune from having their feelings hurt. Jonah didn’t seek to have the game pulled from the shelves or even have that card pulled from the game. He answered their expression, with expression of his own.
That is what makes this a good story. There were no boycotts. No one lost their job or had to resign in shame. This was a rare moment when everyone involved seemed to be on the same historical page.
Photo by horriblewarning via Tumblr