Since it was first introduced to our society in 2011, Cards Against Humanity has rapidly catapulted itself as one of the most popular card games in the market. A kind of Apples to Apples for “adults” (in quotations because the “mature” content in CAH is anything but), the popularity of the game isn’t surprising when you consider: 1) we’re all totally effed up people with a secretive yet passionate obsession with inappropriate humor, and 2) things get super fun when we surround ourselves with other assholes. According to Howcrio Burley of Criotivity, this was the motivation for creating Figure Of Speech: translating the experience with Cards Against Humanity into the virtual world.
Burley is the founder of Criotivity, an indie gaming studio based out of San Francisco. Their first game, Figure of Speech, is a social gaming platform that follows in the style of Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, but in a mobile form.
In Figure Of Speech, a leader first draws a fill-in-the-blank game card. For instance, the card could say “__________ is a terrible yet lucrative way to earn a living.” Each player then selects one of their six randomly assigned game cards to fill in the blank. If a player finds none of his or her cards funny enough to use within the context of the featured game card, then they can simply write in their own response. Once all the responses are in, the group collectively settles on which is the funniest response, and points are distributed to the player who provided it.
For Burley, gaming is a powerful tool that can be used to connect individuals – it provides the opportunity to keep up with people on both an emotional and social level, without the necessity of sharing the same physical space. “We’re trying to do something that I feel is unprecedented in the gaming space, and that is: taking humor and essentially gamifying it,” said Burley. Watch as he further discusses how gaming can have a real-world impact, opines on the utility of humor, and shares his philosophy for innovation. Here’s the video.