Popularly snide party game Cards Against Humanity has launched a campaign to donate all online profits gathered in 22 US states to the National Network of Abortion Funds following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and a widespread tightening of anti-abortion legislation across the country.
Detailed on a page that begins by simply declaring, “Your state sucks,” the company explains that the release of three new packs will also usher in an indefinite deal where all webstore sales within states “that have banned or restricted abortion since the ghoulish theocrats on the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” the website reads. “We're also including states that probably will soon.”
All of that money will be donated to NNAP, a US-based organisation that links resources to local efforts across the country providing access to care, education and legal advocacy within smaller communities. Think of it as a pipeline to smaller grassroots programs that have elected to become members with the NNAP. The states where Cards Against Humanity will donate all profits include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Other states will have the option of adding a $5 donation to their purchase, which the company will match. There’s no word on whether international customers will have the option of donation. This offer only covers products sold through the company’s online store, which will remain active “for the foreseeable future”. The new packs, containing both prompt and answer cards to be added to the base game, include the Scary Pack of “serial killers, sex goblins and vaginas with teeth”, the Written by Kids Pack (it’s exactly what’s advertised), the sombrely apt Climate Catastrophe Pack and the third and final Picture Card Pack - these add inexplicable photos to each card.
Cards Against Humanity has developed a fairly well known reputation for promotional stunts, some of which have aligned with the company’s politics and others which followed a more ‘sticking it to The Man’ style of humour. Among the former, the company reportedly purchased land along the US-Mexico border in order to stall the construction of then-President Trump’s proposed border wall. It has also donated profits to public schools, voter registration groups and, in 2020, a slew of employee-nominated charities.
Yearly Black Friday pranks have been more hit and miss, including one year when Cards Against Humanity accepted donations to dig a giant "Holiday Hole" in the ground that grew larger with each dollar. The company also has a reported history of a toxic, racist and sexist work culture reaching back to at least 2017 that eventually led to Max Temkin stepping down as CEO - Temkin has long been accused of numerous sexual assaults. Not long after, Cards Against Humanity announced that it was unionising - one of the first of its size in tabletop games.
Polling data within the states affected by strict anti-abortion laws was conducted on behalf of Cards Against Humany, and the card game publisher reported a selection of the results from the “dystopian forced-birth hellscapes” on its website. As someone who lives in one of the affected states, I find it difficult not to resent how the polls are presented. Card Against Humanity props up the state’s population as an easy scapegoat, seemingly blaming the end of Roe v. Wade on uneducated bigotry instead of a history of conservative gerrymandering, fundamental religious influence on government institutions and the evident failure of the two-party system across the midwest and rural south.
There’s an inclination among people in more politically liberal states to condemn places, such as Texas, Indiana and Florida with a dismissive, ‘we’re better off without them’ attitude that ignores huge portions of the population that can’t - or shouldn’t be expected to - simply leave. While Cards Against Humanity’s trademark crass phrasing doesn’t quite reach that level of casual cruelty, it leaves the door open for others to do so.
If I’m to read moral judgments from the makers of the party game best described as Apples to Apples but with swears, can it at least contain a bit more compassion and end with a better call to action than the tired Liberal maxim of “For the love of God, don't forget to vote”?