What’s #POTUS all about?
To start, #POTUS is not really a game about Donald Trump. Instead #POTUS is a silly game that sets out to answer a serious question – why did the Trump Administration have such a hard time advancing its policy goals throughout 2017, despite controlling all three branches of the U.S. federal government?
For observers who watched the news throughout the year, or read the tell-all books like Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury, the answer appears to be a gob-smacking combination of factional infighting, amateur naiveté and simple incompetency – with the threat of criminal indictments adding some spice to this smorgasbord. This game tries to capture all these factors, focusing most closely on the Bannon vs Jarvanka vs Preibus vs Kelly dynamic.
While this game draws heavily from the card-driven mechanic pioneered by Mark Herman and used in games such as Twilight Struggle and Churchill, its true inspiration comes from a pair of satirical power politics games I played throughout my college years: Kremlin (a game of ailing Politburo leaders at the end of the Soviet Union, designed by Urs Hostettler) and Junta (a game of warring families in a fictional Latin American “banana republic,” designed by Vincent Tsao).
I’ve always found those two titles to be hysterically funny – especially when played with good friends and plentiful vodka or tequila, as appropriate. But I also think these designs are quite insightful in their own ways. Now we have our own domestic situation that requires sense-making, insight, and comedic relief. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.
I hope you enjoy #POTUS in the spirit in which it is intended. Whether players love Trump or hate him, #POTUS is meant to show everyone a good time while they’re playing. Here’s your chance to battle the Deep State and “Make America Great Again,” or to be a part of the #Resistance and defeat the Trump agenda. Either way, have fun!
Interested in learning more about #POTUS?