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The Kickstarter thread

Funemployed, I didn’t find anything I felt I had to remove. Mainly because it’s all fairly vague. Monikers isn’t CAH level of awful things (it definitely doesn’t try and make you make jokes about horrible things), but I’ve removed a fair amount that I just don’t want coming up if I play it with family, etc.

The Metagame, I think I solely removed stuff for being too American or too depressing for a party game (the Vietnam War Memorial was a double-whammy there).

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Funemployed had a LOT of things it would be virtually impossible not to make meanspirited as all heck.

Ooh! Interesting to see the ‘Epic box’. The normal box isn’t particularly full and could fit everything in easily, why do they need to make it bigger?!

Looks like a decent small box expansion. Pity the shipping is so proportionally expensive - especially as KS shipping ‘estimates’ are notoriously below the true cost.

The Epic box is the same size as the base.

Aaaaaah I’m imagining things

Trust me. You are not the only one! It was a frequent question

Doesn’t that depend on the people and the type of improv they would do? I don’t recall there being anything that would railroad you into being mean-spirited in Funemployed.

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It’s been a while. Let’s dig out the box and see what I shoved in the No pile.

  1. Slutty
  2. Speech Impediment
  3. Split Personality
  4. Stroke
  5. Thug Life
  6. Tri-Sexual
  7. Job: Pimp
  8. S.T.D
  9. Bitches
  10. Disability
  11. Disorder
  12. Effeminate
  13. Erectile Dysfunction

I could keep going. I just opened the box, picked up the No pile and started reading. There’s a bunch more.

Looking at these and flipping through the others: Some of them are outright troubling. Some of them are troubling in the context of someone doing an improvisational comedy routine with that detail casually foisted on them and minimal time to be cautious about it. Some of them are really unhelpful and baffling in the context of the vast majority of job descriptions, and not in a fun comedy sort of “how do I use this” sort of way but in a “what the actual hell” sort of way. Some are clearly designed as Funny Combos and are incomprehensible in every other context.

It’s a complete mess. It’s a fun improv concept, and a terrible piece of gameswritting.

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They’re topics which some people may find uncomfortable, but most of those wouldn’t really require player to be mean-spirited. Part of the joy of funemployed for me is watching people use the cards in creative ways. Each of those certainly could be used in a distasteful way, but that’s rather up to the players. To date I’ve only ever seen players use the ‘bitches’ card to refer to dogs, or ‘thug life’ when describing something very deliberately mundane. You also get to swap cards at the beginning of the round, so you can shed any cards which you wouldn’t want to use.

A sufficiently dedicated group can do that, but if you don’t see why it’s difficult to bring the listed cards out I can’t help you. There’s no reason to have most of them in this deck as a creative group that can have fun with them isn’t really having a better time for their inclusion over more creative cards. There’s absolutely no reason for cards like “slutty” and the host of cards about play-acting mental illness in a short and snappy improv game are extremely unsafe inclusions.

You’re not reviewing the cards, you’re reviewing your friends. You’re right, it is up to the players. And players who don’t want to do something unpleasant will frequently find themselves spending time and energy feeling awkward and trying to get rid of cards like this rather than having fun.

P.S. This speaks to a broader issue with the design of games like Funemployed and CAH in particular; these are improv games where you’re trying to please a crowd and work within the social contract of that space, but where no one at the table has any input into what does and doesn’t come up. Everyone who buys these games is effectively trying to sit at the table with the ghost of the designers and their friends; that’s not going to work or be safe for a lot of people who have never met the designers and their friends. Some games in this genre put less stress on this sort of content and more stress on the scaffold you build around it; CaH and Funemployed are card-content heavy and that’s where a lot more problems come up.

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In any case, actually including slurs and derogatory words on the cards is shit. Handwaving it with “but dogs” can get in the bin.

Edit: To be clear, I have no interest in policing the language or guessing the intent of you and your friends. But this is a public product full of decontextualized words and phrases, the sum total of which point to a specific genre of humorousness. Let’s not be obtuse about this–players opening this box or being dealt these cards without ceremony can very easily run into issues that aren’t going to come up in Champions of the Wild or Dixit. This box could have done a lot better to be cautious about that. It seems to have made no effort in general and written at least a few cards that really aren’t acceptable in this context.

The box also says “age 13 and up” so keep that in mind when judging the more subtle details of using the cards kindly.

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I think it’s more than just that. Pitch games (like Funemployed and so many others) are often said to “require the right group”. What that really means, to me, is that it’s not a complete game and the game designer is relying on the players to provide the missing pieces. I think that’s completely valid: D&D has been doing it for decades; but I think it’s worth bringing up when discussing games like this. Are those cards in your No pile funny? To the right group, yes. Are the problematic: likely more often than not - and if you’re going to include problematic cards in a “game” that’s really more of an improv exercise to begin with… why bother? If that card would be funny for that group, why aren’t they just making it up themselves?

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Sure. That’s a reasonable way to put it.

I don’t see what’s intrinsically more or less creative with any of the other cards in the game. As I said, how those cards are used depends on the player.

I’m reviewing the cards in the context of how my friends would approach them. This is also what you’re doing. My friends generally enjoy the challenge of broaching difficult subjects without causing offence. Your friends might not enjoy it and feel uncomfortable at the prospect. A game without them would be more accessible for your friends, and it would be drier to mine.

Whether the term is derogatory or a slur depends on context. The good thing about Funemployed is that the players get to set the context.

I haven’t used examples from actual play, so I’m not sure where you’re getting the impression that I’m talking about how my specific group of players would approach it.

That’s a load of crap. It has been a slur for centuries with relatively consistent usage. Don’t be obtuse. The maintenance of older word origins within specialized dog breeding jargon doesn’t erase 100s of years of actual usage context.

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What you’re talking about isn’t context. You’re talking about your group insulating themselves from context by having its own internal discourse community. That’s fine–again, I’m not here to call you and your friends out or whatever. You do you. I’m talking about board game design that isn’t just being sold to you and your friends or me and my friends or whatever.

I’m talking about a party game that’s sold as something you can break out to break the ice at gatherings of people who you don’t necessarily play with regularly.

Bitch has referred to a female dog for over a 1000 years, and it is in no way a specialist term. At all. We are clearly cut from different cloths.

But we don’t live in the years before the years when it has also been used as a colloquial day-to-day slur for 100s of years with way more penetration into the vernacular and popular culture than referring to dogs.

We live today. And given the other cards in the set, if you honestly believe that was the intent of the writers I can’t help you. You seem determined to shrug off criticisms of the word choice to the point of ignoring how people talk on a daily basis.

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We have reached a point of agreement.

Not in a collection of cards with Thug Life, Pimp and V-Card it doesn’t. This is absurd.