Episode 27: The Glass Bead Game with Max Temkin

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Max Temkin and seven of his friends created the wildly popular and terribly inappropriate party game Cards Against Humanity (CAH), a pastime that Anne Hathaway referred to as "Crimes Against Humanity" at the last Oscars. Before and after the CAH crowdfunding campaign, Max managed four other Kickstarter projects, all successful. We talk about creativity, games, success, and handling boxcars full of printed material in this episode.

On Twitter, @MaxTemkin and CAH.

Show notes

Max's other thoughts can be found at Maxistentialism. His other game projects include Humans vs. Zombies and Werewolf.

Anne Hathaway likes Crimes Against Humanity. The 1969 Noel Perrin book, Dr. Bowdler’s Legacy is a terrific reminder that prudishness does in fact go out of style, and then comes back in again. I wrote about crowdfunding for the Economist back in September 2010 when Kickstarter had raised its first tens of millions for projects.

Double Fine Productions raised $3.3m as the second project to pass $1m in funding and the first and one of the few to top $2m. The Prisoner's Dilemma is classic game theory that regularly comes up in actual police procedure, in reality TV, and many other scenarios. Anarcho-syndicalism is a federation of workers that band together freely for their self-interest. It's like a union only moreso.

My older son, Ben, described Sandman to me, a game that emerged at his school spread as a meme possibly from Canada, where it is more commonly known as grounders. Max talks about the linguist George Lakoff and the existential philosopher Martin Heidegger. PhilosophyPoster.com uses the lovely typeface Verlag from Hoefler & Frere-Jones. (Verlag is German for "publisher.")

The Internet's Wil Wheaton hosts Tabletop, a show in which he and guests play tabletop games, on Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry network on YouTube. Scott McNulty shared his experience playing Dungeons & Dragons and overcoming social anxiety in "Roll for Initiative" in The Magazine.

The Spelunky Dance was specially created by Max for exactly one backer: former Kickstarter CTO Andy Baio. Sad to say, contributions are no longer being accepted. Max points out the astute argument and conclusion of the Fast Company article "True To Its Roots: Why Kickstarter Won't Sell."

The scantily clad fairy or elf on a motorcycle sculpture is the ultimate something.