Eric Johnson

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Cards Against Humanity’s Black Friday “Sale”: Everything Costs $5 More

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 10.27.33 AMWith pre-“Black Friday” sales starting well in advance of Thanksgiving, and some carrying all the way through to the Monday after, online holiday sales are already a joke. But the makers of the popular card game Cards Against Humanity are really driving the point home today.

“We’re participating in the tradition of ‘Black Friday,’ an American holiday celebrating a time when the Wampanoag tribe saved the settlers of Plymouth Colony with incredible deals,” the game’s website reads.

Their “once-in-a-lifetime” Black Friday sale: Everything costs $5 more than normal. And talk about commitment to the joke: CAH’s listings on Amazon and Shopify (Canada) have actually had their prices hiked for the day.

For the uninitiated: Cards Against Humanity is a party game played like Apples to Apples. Players take turns reading off fill-in-the-blank clues, and the other players compete to submit the best answer. However, almost every card is politically incorrect, disgusting or offensive. It’s a hoot.

This isn’t the first time the CAH team has monkeyed with prices. After raising more than $15,000 on Kickstarter way, way back in 2011, the game was frequently sold out due to high demand. So its creators put it all up for free online under a Creative Commons license, along with instructions for printing out the free version at home.

The effect of this, of course, was that more copies of the then-unknown game were out in the wild in “pirated” form, and trotting those copies out at parties increased demand even more. These days, the $25 $30 game and its four $10 $15 expansion packs are much more reliably in-stock online, but the main game is still available to download (the expansion packs are not).

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik