Funemployed! makes job interviews fun
Before I attended PAX East, the thought of going on endless job interviews sounded like a punishment saved for the ninth circle of Hell, where the damned are forced to edit their resumes for all eternity. Then I stumbled across Funemployed!, a new card game that lets you apply for positions such as UN weapons inspector, celebrity impersonator, competitive eater and super villain using qualifications like “God complex,” “mind reader,” “firebreathing” and “handlebar mustache.”
Needless to say, I purchased the game immediately. After all, I’d make a great super villain! I was born with the ability to read minds, which gave me a bit of a God complex, so I’m determined to rule the world. I created a concoction in my lab that gives me the power of firebreathing, so I can burn all my enemies to a crisp. I coated my handlebar mustache in flameproof spray so it doesn’t burn off when I breathe fire. C’mon, every super villain needs a mustache.
And that’s how Funemployed! is played. Simple, right? It’s similar to Cards Against Humanity in that the qualification cards are white and the job cards are black. Each round, players have around one minute to create a “resume” of four qualification cards to apply for a job. They choose some combination of the four qualification cards in their hand and the pool of 10 qualification cards on the table, which are available to everyone. Whichever player impresses the dealer (aka the “employer”) wins the round.
But there’s one important difference between the two games — Funemployed! gives you the freedom to explain why you chose your cards. Each participant could play the same four-card hand in a completely different manner. You can be creative, weaving a detailed backstory for your character using the cards as starting points. You can act out your applicant if you want. You can be silly. You can be serious. You can play a clean PG-rated game, or you can make it as adult-oriented as you fucking want.
That opportunity to justify your cards to the judge is exactly why Anthony Conta created Funemployed! While playing Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, Conta found that what may be funny or make perfect sense to the person who plays the card can be lost on the judge. He gave the example of a card that says “clowns.” He may think clowns are silly, but a judge who is terrified of clowns could toss the card without giving it a chance. Conta also said it’s not very rewarding to play a card that sucks to simply get it out of your hand.
That’s why Conta created his own game studio, Urban Island Games, in 2012. He wanted to make a card-based party game that offered more to players. He developed the concept and mechanics of Funemployed! with a lot of help from his fiancée and friends, who helped him playtest the game. He launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Funemployed!, which ended on Aug. 22, 2013, with $7,263 — surpassing his $5,000 goal.
“Every card you have in your hand come judging time is a card you have to use in order to win,” Conta said about Funemployed! on the Urban Island Games website. “You have to actively participate in every round, whether it’s being a judge or being an applicant. You can’t just sit back, put a card in a pile, and hope to win big — you have to fight for it. That’s what I want to encourage, interaction. And I believe I’ve created something special, something that does just that.”
Conta succeeded. I love Cards Against Humanity (I ran around PAX East collecting cards from Pwnmeal packets, and my Bigger, Blacker Box is full), but I immediately enjoyed the level of creativity — and freedom — that Funemployed! offers its players.