This might sound really weird coming from a Canadian, but I truly love and enjoy watching the drawn out melee that is U.S. federal politics. I especially enjoy witnessing the almost 2-year-long election cycle to choose the next president. It makes for good TV with real world implications.
Every night I watch international news channels like BBC and CNN to see what decisions are being made from the U.S. Capitol that will shape the world we share. With the current election cycle underway and the sheer unpredictable zaniness in which it has given the public the most extreme candidates ever (on both the left and right sides of the aisle), I find myself glued to every news story that develops.
Unlike previous presidential election cycles, 2016 has provided us the most entertaining and over-the-top candidates for the position of “leader of the free world”. Both the left and right have candidates that push the boundaries of controversy and policy. Of the two party favorites that seem to have the strongest chance of influencing the election – and I don’t mean “win” the election, but rather they make the political game more unpredictable – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have dominated most headlines and pundit debates.
The billionaire real estate and television entertainment mogul who courts controversy (and now riots) wherever he goes, versus the former First Lady and Secretary of State who has many skeletons in her closet that hinder her goal of making presidential history. And let’s not forget about the outsiders on each side who are quickly closing the gap. Both Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are dynamic personalities brimming with potential and problems. It is all proving to be very exciting!
Going back to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there is already a buzz about what would happen if they were to go head-to-head in a general election. Heck, they are attacking each other already. Just imagine the figurative bloodshed that would result when such an unstoppable entity meets an immovable force. Now, the Republican establishment will probably block any attempt of Trump becoming the presumptive nominee at the convention, but let’s just assume the match-up happens anyway. How would it play out?
To metaphorically demonstrate how vicious such a confrontation could be, as well as demonstrate how zany and unpredictable this process has been thus far, I have created a board game using cardboard that somewhat resembles the classic “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” robot fighting game. In essence, it’s two combatants beating the snot out of each other by any means necessary.
Using some scrap cardboard, a couple of dowels, glue, and spray paint, a simple hand-operated boxing game featuring images of Clinton and Trump took shape over the course of a week.
The idea was to give both Clinton and Trump a movable body that could swivel from left to right and vice versa, while allowing the arms to extend outward in a punching motion. A free flow of movement using nothing more than cardboard, glue, and dowels.
The end result included making a dowel base the cardboard bodies could side onto. This allows the bodies to turn 360 degrees around the dowel. The arms were designed with large open rings that attach to similar large rings on the torso of each combatant. Each forearm has a slim dowel attached to allow players to guide their punches in multiple directions.
The head of each character is separate from the body so it can be knocked off with a winning punch.
Using a lazy-Susan I found in a recycling bin, a rotating game board was developed. Images of all the remaining candidates from each party were added on and players spin the board to hopefully choose their opponent to punch.
To be honest, I never actually got around to creating real rules for this game. I was more concerned with creating the design aesthetic and comical features so I could complete the mock commercial YouTube video. Since creating the original first Russian edition of the video, I have been asked how the game actually plays.
Who knows, but maybe this idea made just for fun could lead to a real board game? Maybe add in new detached heads for Sanders and Cruz as well or whole new bodies to mix and match!? Time will tell if this remains a tongue and cheek parody game or if it can become something more serious. Regardless, I enjoyed making the game and video and I hope it gives people laughs while at the same time a pause to think about the bigger seriousness of what is at stake in this election.
I will continue to tinker with the idea while enjoying my daily fix of political zaniness! November here we come. The world is watching!