The Oatmeal is at it again. If you’re familiar at all with the works of The Oatmeal, known in real life as Matthew Inman, you’re familiar with how he feels about babies. That he prefers cats and dogs to babies is a matter of internet record.
He has called babies, “selfish, amniotic, jam-covered goblins,” and that they, “have no special powers, other than transforming interesting, hopeful people into bald, sallow, regretful barf-slaves.”
It’s also a matter of record how he feels about bears, given that he’s produced comics such as “Six Reasons To Ride a Polar Bear to Work” and has a plaque from the National Wildlife Federation declaring him, “Champion of Bears.”
Small wonder then, that this internet sensation has teamed up once more with Elon Lee to create a new game called Bears vs. Babies. This game, announced yesterday, is a card game that is similar to the popular game, Munchkins. According to the information released, players take turns drawing from a deck and try to build a Frankenstein-like army out of body parts. There are also baby cards that form the group enemy on the table. At any time, the babies can be provoked into attacking each player in turn. If the babies outnumber the player’s army, the babies win, and the player must clear their army from the table. On the other hand, if the player’s army is more powerful than the baby army, the player wins and collects the babies as points.
Bears vs. Babies was announced yesterday and a Kickstarter campaign was started to help fund the costs and gauge interest. The original funding goal was $10,000, which at a base price of $25 per game, would have been 400 players. As of 1:48pm EST (GMT – 5), the Kickstarter was officially funded and then some with 25,016 backers pledging $932,584 toward the game. That’s a 9300% funding ratio and the day isn’t even over yet.
If this sheer outpouring of funding takes you by surprise, it shouldn’t. The previous card game that The Oatmeal produced with Elan Lee was Exploding Kittens. That game eventually received 219,382 backers who pledged a total of $8.78 million to bring that game to life, making it the third biggest Kickstarter campaign of all time. Exploding Kittens has been so successful that it has spawned a booster pack and a mobile app available on both Android and Apple.
Matthew Inman is the Eisner Award-winning author of the webcomic, TheOatmeal, and has previously been in the spotlight for his successful efforts in raising over $1.7 million on Indiegogo to fund a Tesla museum in 2012, drawing attention from mainstream media outlets such as CNN, who reported on the story. The funds went to purchase the site of Tesla’s original lab at Wardenclyffe, which was in danger of being sold and demolished. The campaign even managed to draw in donations from Elon Musk, founder of the Tesla Motor Company.
Before that, readers might remember his little debacle with FunnyJunk and a lawsuit with Charles Carreon, a lawyer purporting to represent the website. This internet war, reported on in detail by ArsTechnica, ended up raising $220,024, which was equally split between the American Cancer Society, and the National Wildlife Federation. (It was also this donation that earned Inman the title of “Champion of Bears”
Elan Lee is a game designer who was integral to the I Love Bees alternate reality game (ARG) that promoted the Xbox game Halo 2. He works for Microsoft as the Chief Design Officer for their Xbox Entertainment Studios branch.
Bears vs. Babies base game is designed to be played by kids 7 and older as well as adults. There is a NSFW (Not Safe For Work) add-on that adds in different creature cards and babies and is not designed to be kid-friendly. The game is expected to ship in June, 2017.
[Featured Image by The Oatmeal]