By: Chris Nammour
“Angry Nun Stabs Jealous Urologist.” This headline, not surprisingly, isn’t real, but anyone in the hinterlands craving a slice of big-city tabloid humor now has a place, or rather a card, to turn. New York Post TV Editor Michael Shain and retired Post crime reporter Mike Pearl have created Man Bites Dog, a game that challenges wannabe editors to transform random words into a killer hed.
“We were both working as reporters, and we realized we were never going to become rich that way,” Pearl said. “University Games made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.” The company also makes Colorforms and licensed games featuring Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss.
“As a street paper, you have to grab readers’ attention,” Shain explained. “Murder sells. Sex scandals sell. We built that into the game.”
Players are dealt a hand of five cards, each containing a tab-friendly word or phrase. But not all are created equal. “Sues” is worth five points, while “Drugs” scores 25 and “Bizarre” goes for 50 points. Playing a hand such as “Romantic Mob Boss Falls For 340-lb Judge” would earn you a whopping 150 points, if not a copy-desk job. The first player to score 500 wins.
“The one thing we really noticed in developing this is that most people who played the game, including journalists, ended up trying to make funny headlines, and not even worrying about points,” Pearl said. Released this month, Man Bites Dog has sold out (at about $10 a game) from many online distributors.
The game is available for purchase from http://www.areyougame.com.