Normally, I’m wary of games in the vein of off-color party game Cards Against Humanity. CAH is just like Apples to Apples, the popular kids game, but with disgusting choices and Chicago-based creator Max Temkin even said of his own work: “The lowest life form of a game is an ice breaker game.”
And yet, a fellow Windy City project has caught my eye. Utter Nonsense is product of a team of friends who’ve been playing a similar game for years. The concept is simple. There are phrase cards and accent cards. Phrase cards dictate what you should say (“I sprinkle when I tinkle) and accent cards dictate how you should say them (grandma, pirate, redneck). Then a single judge decides their favorite. Clearly, no one will be offended.
Utter Nonsense is a bit unique in that the prompt is performative: you’re to take on a new characters and pick a delivery. As Martin Freeman, the lead of FX’s new series Fargo based in the Minnesota home of Upper Midwest American English, has said “I wasn’t playing an accent, I was playing a character that happened to speak like that and to be from that place.” Utter Nonsense hopes you’ll do the same.