Meet slash – the ‘Cards Against Humanity’ for fanfiction

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Ever thought Belle from Beauty and the Beast and the Bride of Frankenstein could ever fall in love? How about Captain Jack Harkness and Captain Hammer from Dr Horrible Sing-a-long Blog? Or even the Golden Girls with Edward Cullen or Jacob Black from Twilight?

These might be disturbing pairings, but that is the aim of the game with a brand new game called slash: romance without boundaries. It is pretty much similar to Cards Against Humanity – with one major difference. Instead of pairing nouns to blanks, you’re pairing people together to create the ultimate one true pairing.

slash has two game modes: Casual Fling, where the game mechanics are similar to Cards Against Humanity and one person (the ‘card czar’) chooses the best pairing out of the cards placed down by the players; or Hardcore, where the ‘card czar’ asks players to answer a prompt (like “Describe their first date”) and chooses the best narrative and pairing.

And yes, you can add your own characters to the mix – just in case you’re one true pairing is Tony Abbott and Lord Voldemort or Darth Vader. It would be interesting (or very disturbing that might give you nightmares for the rest of your life) to hear their first date.

The name itself derives from slash fanfiction – in other words, writing romantic fanfiction between two male characters – despite having both male and female characters in the mix (plus some inanimate objects). As the Daily Dot describes:

Slash [is] … a complex, subversive act that inevitably involves queer identity, critiques lack of queer media representation, and quite frequently involves fans having their hearts broken via a phenomenon called “queerbaiting.”

Conflating slash with “oddball pairings” may not do much to aid the cause of slash fans who want their ships to be taken seriously by their shows’ creators. Why choose this slight misnomer over the more accurate “shipping?” The creators explain their name choice on Kickstarter as a testament to “the breadth and variety of relationships possible with the game and an open mind.”

There is a Kickstarter campaign for slash, and it already has exceeded its $10,000 goal. It does, however, have number of stretch goals – including more cards and expansion packs. If you are a bit hesitant to pledge, or a cheapskate, the game is (like Cards Against Humanity) free to download and print yourself.