'Drawful' Shows How Witty Humor Can Prevail Over Shock

It feels better to be the funniest person in the room than the 'edgiest.'
August 7, 2017, 2:51pm
All images courtesy Jackbox Games

There have been a lot of insightful, intelligent pieces about why Cards Against Humanity is bad. It's a game that punches down with its humor, that can reward privileged, unsympathetic viewpoints—with jokes about rape, racism, and child abuse, to name a few—easy for the taking.

Now, the game can be funny—there are combinations of questions and answers that range from the non-sequitur to the clever play on words without having to drag down minorities and victims—but I've played with so many people that think "humor" equates to "shock." There are so many more games that rely on the natural wit of the players, and those are the ones I prefer to play now.

Advertisement

I was playing Drawful the other week, which is one of the games in the Jackbox Party Pack, an excellent multiplayer bundle that allows anyone to play along using their smartphone. Drawful works like this: everyone is given separate prompts, and has to draw an image matching that prompt. Then, the other players attempt to figure out what the drawing is, and write their own description. The most convincing description—the one all the other players vote for—wins that round.

But Jackbox also added the ability to "like" other players' descriptions. As soon as players realize that, some of them start to write absurd phrases, topical jokes, or ones that poke fun at the artist's ability. Most players go for the conventional win via points—but some go for "likes" instead. For me, at least, it's a much more satisfying win to know that I am the funniest in the group, rather than the one who is best at duping the rest.

The new Jackbox Party Pack was announced recently, and though most of the games within its mysterious box have been kept secret, we do know one thing—Fibbage is coming back, and this time, it has LIKE POINTS. Fibbage is a fill-in-the-blank game: "antidaephobia is the fear that a ____ is watching you," the website suggests.


Watch the Waypoint crew play Drawful during our 72-hour launch event:


The answers, given by the players, are "Canadian," "Programmer," "Libertarian," "Cabbage," and "Sumo Wrestler." Ok, none of those answers are particularly hilarious, but you get the point—the opportunity for wit is there. There's something special about rewarding good humor—it's almost the exact opposite of having to ban people for bad behavior on most online multiplayers. And wouldn't everyone prefer to be 'Class Clown' than 'Most Likely To Succeed'?