When you’ve just finished tweaking your resume, prepping for interviews, and tailoring your cover letter for what seems like the hundredth time, the last thing you probably want to do in your spare time is play a game that emulates the job seeking process. But after a few minutes into Funemployed — a Cards Against Humanity-inspired game with a unique job seeker twist — I’m willing to bet that you’ll change your tune.
How Do You Play?
The setup is simple: a teal job card is laid down face-up on the table — think: Auctioneer, Mime, Drill Sergeant — then each player is handed four black qualifications cards — think: French accent, jacked forearms, jazz hands, etc. One person sits out as the employer, who will judge all the other players on how well qualified they are for the position at hand, while the rest of the players are job seekers, tasked with using their four cards to formulate a pitch on why they’re the right person for the job (don’t worry if you get an unlucky hand — there are also ten qualification cards on the table that you can swap yours out with if needed). From there, you’ve got nothing but your improvisational skills and wits to help you craft a compelling, personal narrative that’ll land you the job.
Here’s an example of what it might sound like (or at least what it sounded like when my housemates and I played together this past Sunday night):
“I believe that I was born for this role of being a Ninja (job card) because I was born on the streets (qualification card #1) and taken in by Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul to train to become a Ninja, where I developed a menacing British accent (qualification card #2). We trained with Foam Swords (qualification card #3) — and later on, real swords — so let me tell you, I can wield a sword. With that, I’ve developed very good aim (qualification card #4), and can eliminate any target you want me to. So that’s a bit about me!”
As in real life, though, you won’t just be able to get away with a fancy elevator pitch and then walk out the door — the employer has qualification cards of their own — one for each job seeker — which they can use as inspiration for a challenge or a follow-up question to the job seeker’s pitch. For example, after hearing the pitch above, the employer for that round used one of his qualification cards (boomerang) to throw the following monkey wrench into the interview:
“It sounds like you have decent foam sword experience which I certainly respect, but we’ve actually taken up the boomerang recently, and we’re looking for someone with five years of boomerang experience.”
Don’t worry though — you get a chance to respond. In this case, the job seeker answered with “I feel that my experience with foam swords will carry over and translate quite well into picking up a boomerang… I can pick up and throw a sword in such a manner that it flies back to me.”
Once all of the players have had their say, the job is awarded to whomever the employer thinks did the best job of pitching themselves for the position. After completing two full rounds — in which the role of employer rotates from player to player with each turn — the job seeker with the most job cards claims victory.
So, What’s the Verdict?
As you might be able to tell from above, I had a pretty good time playing Funemployed (aside from the wicked paper cut I got from one of the cards — be careful!). My friends and I were able to get really into our roles and have fun with adopting the ridiculous personas that the cards in our hands laid out for us. The absurdity of the cards mixed with the formality of the interview process definitely led to us laughing out loud on more than one occasion.
However, I will say that the game is probably only as good as the crew you play it with. If your fellow players aren’t willing to really commit to it or are afraid of sounding too silly, you probably won’t have as good of a time — there’s only so much weight that cards like “actually an alien” and “literally the worst” can carry on their own without an enthusiastic player to deliver them. And while this game is nowhere near as racy as Cards Against Humanity, it definitely treads into PG-13 territory, so it may not be the best choice for the very prim and proper or for work functions, depending on what kind of office environment you work in.
But, on the other hand, if you need to blow off some steam after a long, hard day at work (or day spent job hunting) to actually take a step back and laugh at it all for a little bit, Funemployment’s a great choice to bring to your next game night.
Image courtesy of Urban Island Games.