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This Obscene Card Game Can Help You Be More Creative

BlogHer CEO Lisa Stone tells us why party game Cards Against Humanity is her favorite way to practice both creative thinking and NSFW bonding with friends and family.

As CEO of female-focused content platform BlogHer, Lisa Stone oversees a network of thousands of writers and sponsored content creators who reach 100 million readers and consumers. The company was founded in 2005 to support women's voices, and Stone is a big believer in finding new ways to exercise self-expression both in her personal and professional life. As such, one of her all-time favorite ways to practice creative writing while bonding with family and friends is with the game Cards Against Humanity.

Lisa Stone

"Since I believe in both working and playing as hard as I can, and Burning Man isn't every single day, I have to figure out a way to be outré and loud and crazy as often as possible," she says. "We play a lot of games in my family, and anyone who doesn't own Cards Against Humanity should go right out and buy a deck."

For the unfamiliar, Cards Against Humanity is a party game that debuted in 2011 after a successful Kickstarter campaign by its creators, a group of alumni from Highland Park High School in Illinois who invented the game for a New Year's Eve gathering. "It's the Mad Libs of card games, written for an NC-17 audience, preferably as a drinking game," says Stone. "The better you know the people, the more outrageously fabulous fun the game will be, as long as the people are willing to take a few risks."

Stone explains that each turn starts with a "Card Czar" who presents a question card featuring a Mad Lib-type sentence, like "President Johnson left office because blank was found in blank." The other players put together creative answers from answer cards in their hands and pass them face down to the dealer, and what is printed on them typically "can't be repeated in your magazine," says Stone. "You go around the table and the person who asked the question chooses the best answer. So when you're writing your answer, you have to think about who your audience is."

Stone says the game has become a staple of her very important family time outside the office, which of course may or may not be appropriate depending on the make up and dynamic of your own family. "The holiday booster pack this year caused my 18-year-old son to sit down and weep, he was laughing so hard. We do not yet play it with our 14-year-old, but my 18- and 26-year-old love it so much they have decks of their own. I love it so much I always have an extra deck that I keep shrink wrapped to give as a gift. It's my hostess gift."

[Images courtesy of Cards Against Humanity]

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  • I saw this article in a tweet, and told my 19 year old son, (who has 3 decks that I was ready to play. He was shocked and warned me that I might get offended so I just emailed him the article and told him there was a business case for it.

  • Jane Byers Goodwin

    Oh Lisa, as if it were possible to love you more! Cards Against Humanity is our favorite game, and when it's over don't you feel absolutely cleansed? Creativity at its NSFW best! I'd love to play a round with you some day. . . . (We gave my brother's family the game for Christmas, and they were so horrified they threw it out!) Everybody else in the family is normal. :)