One hundred and fifty thousand people might soon become bona-fide Picasso collectors thanks to the crowdfunded, conflict-instigating mega-sensation Cards Against Humanity. Every year, the game creators have given out gifts to subscribers around the holiday season. Last year, during the “10 days or whatever of Kwanzaa,” those who chose to buy in for $15 received 10 mystery gifts — which ultimately built to each of the 250,000 participants owning one square foot of a remote island off the coast of Maine. The card game owners have named the island “Hawaii 2” and it is now open to the public.
This year, for their “eight sensible gifts for Hanukkah” campaign, they’ve already given away three pairs of socks to each member, made a sensible investment (Cards Against Humanity U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Fund), donated to the Chicago NPR affiliate, and given the printers of the game in China a paid week of vacation.
For the eighth night, they’re giving the 150,000 people who bought in a choice: They purchased an original Picasso titled Tête de Faune and will either donate it to a museum or chop it into 150,000 pieces and ship a piece to each member. Voting opens December 26.
As crude and cynical as the game creators may seem (and if you’ve played the game, it’s pretty bleak), they’re also doing something kind of interesting. They’ve taken a small financial contribution from lots of people and combined them to make a difference. They’ve preserved an island, made a massive contribution to an NPR station, and given the hardworking employees of their Chinese factory some down time.
It’s hard to tell what their angle is with the Picasso stunt, but the Cards Against Humanity team have already made their point. Working together, we can make a massive difference…or we shouldn’t be precious about fine art…or this is art…or…anyway, there’s a point in there somewhere.