2017 News Spring 2017

SMU Entrepreneurs And Their Cheeky Card Games

What began as a class project has sparked a two-game winning streak for Tim Cassedy, assistant professor of English, and former students Chelsea Grogan ’15, Jenna Peck ’15 and Kate Petsche ’15.
They invented Dick: A Card Game Based on the Novel by Herman Melville and Bards Dispense Profanity. Patterned on the popular Cards Against Humanities games, their “fill-in-the-blank” challenges invite players to complete a phrase with language and imagery from Moby-Dick and Shakespeare’s plays for humorous, often ribald, results.
The team launched Why So Ever – their do-it-yourself enterprise – in online collaborative documents by drafting prompts like “I’m sorry, this table is reserved for _______” and mining the texts for such nuggets as “a robustious periwig-pated fellow” (Hamlet). They printed the cards themselves, cut them out on a hand-cranked device and stockpiled inventory in spare corners of their homes.
After selling several thousand copies, they’ve scaled up and invested in professional printing and rented a storage locker. The games are available at the Barnes & Noble SMU Bookstore, as well as from Uncommon GoodsAmazon and their company’s website,, where they also offer notecards, T-shirts and temporary tattoos.
“It might be fairly common for a professor in engineering or the sciences to take an idea to market, but it is absolutely not something I expected to happen from where I sit in the English Department,” Cassedy says.
Watch Cassedy and company playing around with language: