Tomorrow, finally, the 2016 US Presidential Election will wrap up. It seems as though it’s been dragging on forever, and it hasn’t just been affecting the United States – people from all over the world have been watching and weighing in. There’s been a lot to stress over and worry about, but one particularly scary realization came to me recently – a lot of people aren’t even all that familiar with how the election process works.
It’s a convoluted process, so it’s understandable that many citizens are confused about it. A friend of mine, however, recently posed a question on Facebook: how much education about the US government did you receive in high school? The responses were startling – many people felt that the subject was only covered on the most basic level, with the many of the more in-depth, nuanced aspects ignored altogether.
That’s unacceptable, in my opinion – the way our government functions is one of the most important areas of knowledge for any citizen. For people who want to learn more about it, however, there’s a fun way to enhance your understanding on the horizon. 3D printing service bureau and model marketplace Treatstock has just launched a new Kickstarter campaign for a board game entitled “Political Domination,” a role-playing game centered around the electoral system.
The game can be played with either two or four players, representing candidates from the Democratic, Republican, Green and Libertarian parties. The ultimate goal is to acquire more “Ratings” points than the other players, and thus win the election. Points are won and lost by landing on squares such as “Election Promises,” “Broken Promises,” etc., or by pulling “Incident Cards” or “Power Cards.” Incident cards result in the loss of points due to unfortunate incidents – your email has been hacked! You’ve made a tasteless statement! You’ve been…attacked by a giant fly! It could happen!
There are also advanced features that allow players to do things like hold debates. It’s a pretty thorough facsimile of a real election, with cards and squares that involve the media, tax issues, voting districts, and other details of the process.
“[W]e aren’t trying to replace a degree in Political Science with this game, nor should the game be considered as a serious book about the US election (well, maybe not a ‘so serious’ book),” Treatstock states. “We want to lift the curtain and allow the players to look at politics from a different angle, make a boring subject exciting and funny at the same time. In the end, we want to explain why it is so important to vote. At first glance, some things seem quite humorous, but these are actually important issues that need to be addressed. All this will be presented in an easy and accessible manner so that even a child will be intrigued.”
The 3D printed game pieces, designed by 3D designer Tomislav Veg, bear the appearances of several famous politicians (although Treatstock states that all resemblances are accidental. Sure). It’s a “Hillary-ous Board Game With Actual Trump Cards!” the company says.
The game is still under development, and Treatstock welcomes suggestions from their backers. The campaign aims to raise $3,000 by December 18. Pledge rewards start at $10, which will get you digital files for the game board and cards to print yourself, while $29 and $39 will earn you, respectively, either a softcover or hard cardboard version of the game board, plus cards and dice. For $69, you’ll get a full set including four game pieces. For $189 you can get a set with two customized game pieces, if you’d like to have your own face on a piece, and for $289 you can get four custom pieces, in addition to the standard ones.
While some people may be electioned-out by this time, “Political Domination” looks like a fun way to get to know how all of this madness actually works – or to teach your kids about it so that when the time comes for them to vote, they can go in with more knowledge of the system than many current voters may have. Discuss in the Political Domination forum at 3DPB.com.