In 1960: The Making of the President, you take on the role of Kennedy or Nixon vying for the right to lead the United States during the heart of the Cold War. However, it is not just foreign policy that poses a challenge to American leadership; the year 1960 is synonymous with great social upheaval and progress. The candidates must contend with the question of civil rights and balance their positions on social justice against the need for valuable Southern electoral votes. Of course, the ever-present issue of the economy also rears its ugly head, and both Nixon and Kennedy will compete to be the candidate with the voters’ pocket books in mind.
The contest is fought out on an electoral map of the United States as it stood in 1960—a map where Louisiana and Florida share the same number of electoral votes, as do California and Pennsylvania. Using a card-driven game system, all the major events which shaped the campaign are represented: Nixon’s lazy shave, President Eisenhower’s late endorsement, and the ‘Catholic question’ are all included as specific event cards. The famous televised debates and final election day push are each handled with their own subsystems. Candidates vie to capture each state’s electoral votes using campaign points in the four different regions of the country. At the same time, they must build momentum by dominating the issues of the day and attempt to gain control of the airwaves.