Private Island Named ‘Hawaii 2’ by Game Company

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Cards Against Humanity, a card game that was born out of a Kickstarter campaign in 2011, confirmed today that it has purchased a six-acre private island in Maine and named it “Hawaii 2.”

The original name of the island is Birch Island, and it is located in Saint George Lake in Liberty, Maine. The Portland Press Herald says county records show the island was purchased from the Bedke/Fox Family Trust on Halloween. The idea came from an earlier fundraiser where game company officials realized the amount of money they had raised “could have bought a small private island.”

So for a holiday fundraising campaign, that’s exactly what they did.

Their “Ten Days of Whatever of Kwanzaa” campaign inspired 250,000 people to contribute $15 each in exchange for ten “mystery gifts” in December. Day one was “a card with your name on it.” Day eight was a packet of Miracle Berries, which are “tablets that temporarily make sour foods taste sweet.” Today brought the grand finale. Proclaims the project website:

“For Day 10, we bought a private island and everyone who subscribed got a square foot of it. Congratulations, you can all now say you own a small piece of a private island at parties.”

The site provided a Google Maps link, which indeed seems to geolocate the island as “Hawaii 2.” Company co-creator Max Temkin tells the Press Herald that he worked with a friend at Google to add “Hawaii 2” to the Google Maps database by presenting the deed of purchase.

The newspaper notes that it could not confirm whether the island’s official name had actually been changed.

Fundraiser participants received a deed document, granting each person:

“…An exclusive license to one square foot of our Private Island… You may, at your own cost, do anything within your one square foot that does not violate federal, state, or local law. You may name your square foot of land. You may use the entire Private Island for passive, non-commercial, non-motorized recreational activity. You may tell people at parties that you own part of a private island. If you hurt a tree on the Private Island, we will curse your family for a thousand (1,000) generations.”

As for the charitable component, the game company notes that the purchase of the island allows them to preserve “a pristine bit of American wilderness.” In addition, $1 from each $15 purchase (or $250,000) went to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government globally and uses technology to make government more accountable to all. (I’ve blogged about them before, and blogged for them.)

Given the card game’s trademark irreverence, the company noted that it could be “bribing public officials with your money.” But:

Instead of bribing our elected officials, we gave $250,000 to the Sunlight Foundation – a nonprofit that lets us see who’s spending money in politics and how much they’re spending. You can use the Sunlight Foundation’s tools to see who’s giving money to your officials using Influence Explorer, and you can find out who represents you and what they vote for using OpenCongress. You can also learn about the important work that the Sunlight Foundation is doing to create a more open, transparent government at sunlightfoundation.com/policy.

Cards Against Humanity is decidedly not a family-friendly game. In fact, it’s billed as “a party game for horrible people,” featuring a colorful mix of pop culture references, shock humor, and sexual innuendo (well, really, straight-up sexual talk).

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