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The Contender is like Cards Against Humanity for political debates

One look at these cards and you'll be jumping to buy your copy of the game.


Eric Geller


Posted on Aug 6, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 5:22 am CDT

Just as Cards Against Humanity revolutionized Apples to Apples, a new game is revolutionizing Cards Against Humanity by sprinkling in classic political tropes to build a world of hilarious debate possibilities.

The Contender, created by John Teasdale and Justin Robert Young and designed by Meg Paradise and Faun Chapin of Guts & Glory, follows the same basic premise as CAH. Everyone gets a set of cards and picks one to pair with each round’s prompt card. But unlike Cards Against Humanity, which asks players to construct the funniest response to a prompt, The Contender asks you to construct the best or funniest argument as part of a series of debate rounds.

The Contender

“From FDR to JFK to the immortal words of Sarah Palin, these are the personal jabs, forced compliments and glorious gaffes that make every four years the most blunderful moments in American politics,” the game’s website says. “Build the best combination of facts, attacks, and distracts to strengthen your position, tear down your opponents, and whip the voting public into a patriotic fervor.” 

The deck looks beautifully designed, the sample cards shown in promotional imagery promise hours of uproarious fun, and the timing—released right before the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 election—couldn’t have been better. Perhaps that’s why The Contender soared past its $15,000 Kickstarter goal and is currently sitting at more than $35,000 with 24 days of fundraising remaining.

Nearly 750 people have pledged to the campaign, which offers rewards like an extra deck of cards too inappropriate for the main 300-card box set and a collector’s edition with campaign buttons.

Photo via The Contender

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*First Published: Aug 6, 2015, 1:08 pm CDT