Cards Against Humanity is digging a giant hole to nowhere
Call it a ground-breaking stunt in the annals of online streaming. As long as people keep paying, the game company says it intends to keep digging.
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year" award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Ever dig a hole in your yard as a kid, convinced you'd somehow break all the way through the Earth and end up in China/Atlantis/Narnia/Your Favorite Land Here?
The folks who make the naughty but popular game Cards Against Humanity can relate. In the company's latest Black Friday stunt, a big ol' John Deere excavator is busily working somewhere in America, digging a hole with no apparent end in sight. Anyone can watch the digging being live-streamed online, and anyone can donate to extend the digging time.
The company explains its mission on HolidayHole.com, and we think we're reading some post-election sarcasm into the wording.
"The holidays are here, and everything in America is going really well," the site notes. "To celebrate Black Friday, Cards Against Humanity is digging a tremendous hole in the earth."
A very witty FAQ doesn't say exactly where the hole is being dug but notes that the new arrival isn't hurting the environment, saying, "This was just a bunch of empty land. Now there's a hole there. That's life."
The FAQ also claims the hole has no deeper (ha, deeper) purpose and notes that those who donate will get nothing for their money except for more time spent digging.
In response to, "How deep can you make this sucker?" the response is open-ended. "As long as you keep spending, we'll keep digging," the site promises. "We'll find out together how deep this thing goes." As of early Saturday Eastern Time, more than $70,000 had been donated, which would keep the digger busy for 34 more hours.
This isn't Cards Against Humanity's first Black Friday stunt. In 2015, the company asked for $5 donations, which it then gave to its employees. In 2014, buyers could purchase boxes of bull manure for $6 apiece. This year, there's no word as to where the donations will go, except to keep the machinery operating. In streaming comments running alongside the live video, numerous viewers have pointed out the possible parallels to Black Friday, implying that crazed shoppers rushing out to get the best deals are also just throwing their money in a hole.
And in case you're wondering why the company doesn't just give the money to charity, the FAQ has an answer for that, too. "Why aren't YOU giving all this money to charity?" it queries prospective donors. "It's your money."