Ballot Box is the reimagination of the 1968 Presidential election, dramatizing the political and social upheaval of the time. Players take on a historically-accurate voter identity. In each round, they experience a personal development of themselves or someone close to them or witness a political event that sends shock waves through the world. The core experience of Ballot Box is engaging with other voters of different backgrounds to discuss the future of the United States and lobby votes for their chosen candidate to secure their party’s nomination and win in the General Election.
For that reason, Ballot Box is collaborative by nature, meant for players to experience lives they could not otherwise and have real conversations about the stakes near and dear to them. Players strategize to use Political Action Points (PAPs) to win across the five electoral regions. You win by forming a successful electoral coalition behind a preferred candidate.
As MA History students, Alyssa Windsor and Jessica Forsee, in the Digital Humanities "Historical and Experimental Games" Class designers used their shared research interests to inspire others to become more involved in US politics during the 2020 Election Year. The designers for Ballot Box were inspired by their own passion for the American presidency and political campaigns to jump start their work on Ballot Box. Both designers have experience analyzing the political and social turmoil of the 1960s as a whole and in relation to other topics such as foreign affairs and gender relations.