IS MY FAULT. But I can't be held completely responsible. Around
twenty people were involved in the early stages of the game, mostly
coffeeshop regulars at the late, lamented Hotel Washington.

THERE ARE TWO online archives of Blank White Cards. The first and
best is Stewart King's server, in Boston; I also recently scanned the local
Madison deck and implemented my own server off this site. Stewart's
archive will of course remain the definitive BWC site
, and will
soon incorporate the cards currently available only in my archive.

[ go to the Boston blank white cards server here ]
[ go to the Madison blank white cards server here ]
[ send card submissions to me here ]
[ view a map of the known BWC communities ]

THE STORY, if anybody is remotely interested, is extremely simple.
I was sitting at the Café one day, musing, staring off into space,
across the room, past the booth, where a woman sat making flash
cards. As my no doubt fatigued, caffeinated brain tried to find some
good or wholesome thing to cling to, it lit instead on the wording on
her box of cards. It read, 1000 BLANK WHITE CARDS. I read it
as the GAME of 1000 Blank White Cards, and therein was born...

1KBWC (as the Oxford, UK players call it) is not without
antecedents. Much of the year leading up to the game's creation,
many of those café regulars and I played monstrous, multiple
deck games of Hearts and Uno, setting the stage for free-form
rules modification and probably laying the groundwork for much
of the ad hominem, profane, and otherwise juvenile slant
of many (read, most) of the cards.

Some years before that, several friends and I had played a game
called "Cripple Mister Onion" (name comes from a short reference in
one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels), which involved the total
dissassembly of five or six different card and board games, and the
dynamic synthesis of a new game from the assorted cards, pieces and
boards. That game included pieces from Clue, Waterworks, Set, Uno,
and Pit, and during the gameplay, the Conservatory card from Clue
was forever rechristened the Kierkegaard Card. This was the true
origin of the Blank White Cards aesthetic, and freeform gameplay.

Another potential antecedent is the perpetual games of
"Calvinball" played in Bill Watterson's defunct comic strip,
"Calvin and Hobbes". The average game of Calvinball was
played much like rugby meets BWC, with radical rule shifts
and redefinitions of game structure, play, and goals.

In the end, though, I think BWC's real appeal may
lie in its similarity to the way in which many of us
initially conceive our thoughts: fast, sketchy, often
black and white; full of lewd desires and snappy retorts.
The card structure provides four walls beyond which
one generally does not color, but within which anything
goes. So, I think, would we all like to live our lives.

ANY BWC PLAYERS out there are strongly encouraged
to peruse Stewart's brilliant BWC web site, and to join
the BWC mailing list (signup available on his site).

 

h o m e