One Thousand Blank White Cards

The context for this post is less than ideal, but I’ll press on. You see I’ve discovered – by means soon to be explained – what is perhaps the greatest game ever played. The less than ideal context I mentioned is one in which I have not yet had the opportunity to play the game, but have been enjoying it for close to 24 hours despite this uncomfortable fact. An ‘Ask Slashdot’ about the choice of party-games for a Christmas party led me to the blog of J Random Slashdotter (who it was is unimportant, so I haven’t bothered to go back and check). In particular, an entry regarding a game by the name of 1000 Blank White Cards.

Descriptions of the game are vague, as there’s no real right way to describe it. It seems necessary to include several "I’ll get to that"s. No doubt there exist better descriptions than the one I’m about to write. Whatever. You’re here because you like me.

The start is easy. It’s a card game, in which the cards are made during the game. The cards are made from blank index cards or something similar. Each card has a title (usually humorous), a picture (definitely humorous) and a set of instructions for its use (hilarity ensues). What instructions? I’ll get to that. A few minutes are spent making cards before the game begins, but most of them are made during the game.

The game starts with a deck – consisting of some drawn cards and some blanks – in the centre of the table and a hand of five cards – again, some blank some not – dealt to each player. Play goes clockwise from the dealer’s left. Each turn, the player takes (I want to say ‘draws’, but that’s confusing) a card from the deck and then plays one from his hand. Cards are played to the table or to a person of the player’s choice, depending on the card. Players can make new cards out of blanks in their hands at any time. The aim is to score points. Except it’s not really. The aim is to have fun and create hillarious cards. So the cards sort of matter. So…

Title, picture, instructions. Great. Instructions can be simple game instructions – lose a turn, earn 500 points – or more comedic instructions – burp the alphabet for 600 points – or even simply bizarre instructions. The key is interaction of the cards. I could create a ‘Megawealth’ card with a big picture of a pot of gold and the instruction ‘Earn +1,000,000 points’ and play it on myself. But anyone else is free to make, for example, a ‘Stockmarket Crash’ card with the instruction ‘Players with Megawealth lose all their points.’

As you can imagine, it’s impossible to win by trying. You really win by creating the most fun cards, the cards that everyone agrees should be kept for the next time you play.

I said I’d been enjoying this game without having played it. I have spent the entire day – and you should take that as literally meaning all of my waking time from this time yesterday to this time today – coming up with possibilities. I’ll put some of these online at some stage. Until then you could check out the samples shown on the site where I first read the rules and this dedicated site.