Political Capital

Charles Berkeley Miller

Political Capital is a tabletop game with rich strategy that simulates the Presidential election process at a surface level.


Political Capital is a simple, tabletop game with rich strategy that simulates the Presidential election process at a surface level. The game has no political slant (neither liberal nor conservative) and avoids any references to political parties, issues, or other polarizing items. Political Capital does serve as propaganda for democracy by luring players into taking a closer look at the election process and considering real world election strategy. If nothing else, hopefully my game makes politics appealing and even fun – and perhaps that can serve as a shot in the arm to energize anyone either unfamiliar with the process or alienated by it.

I found an old board game called "Men of Destiny" from the 1950's (Eisenhower was the current President) that is a game based around the Presidency. There are lots of electronic games based around running for President, but they are entirely simulations with difficult interfaces that require long hours to play. I want my game to be more of a game and less of a simulation. I am not striving for reality. I am striving for something that is entirely engaging, provides great moments for strategy, can be played in a few hours, and is something players want to come back to again and again. I feel this is the best strategy as a developer to reach a young demographic.

The game has been user tested extensively with several different demographics. The most important of these tests came with 7th graders at a Brooklyn charter school. All three students were minorities and found politics "boring." After 2 hours (a full game of Political Capital), all three admitted that it had only felt like they had been playing for 15 minutes (they were engrossed), that the strategy was exciting and all were asking smart questions about the real Presidential election process. While everyone can enjoy the depth of strategy Political Capital presents, this age range of adolescence is my target audience.

I have reused game pieces from existing games while designing a board from scratch. The look and feel of the game is something from the 1960's.