“Mr. President” game might be better than my handicapping

You never know what might show up when you put something on your blog. For instance, I got a nice note from Mark, a rugby-playing teammate about a game he used to play called “Mr. President.” He’s younger than I (we are both past our prime playing days). But his teens were in the 1970s, and he became quite familiar with games of that era as you can see from what he wrote:

“Made me think of a game I used to play in my teens in the 70’s.

It’s called “Mr. President.” It’s a 3M Bookshelf game.

Using cards to campaign around the states, the two candidates blind balloted them into state slot boxes. Once the campaign ended, the boxes were opened, ballots counted and winner declared.

I no longer own a copy of the game, but I sure learned a bit about the chore a presidential campaign entailed.”

That might be a better way of figuring out who is going to win the 2020 presidential race than my guessing, I mean, handicapping, that I am doing in this blog. Although the game seems somewhat complicated.

The only 3M games that I know is “Facts in Five,” but Mark is a more enthusiastic gamer than I am.

“I was a big-time gamer in me youth. Me & my two brothers and about five neighbor kids would play games over and over, and if they ever got boring because we figured them out, we’d play them oppositely: we’d play them to LOSE. The biggest loser was the winner. 

Playing a game opposite, to lose, does not always work, but it is a fun exercise and keeps your brain on its toes.

There is a published game called “AntiMonopoly,” though I have not played it.

Monopoly was a favorite. We’d link two boards at one of the corners, usually Free Parking, and play a double game in a figure 8. One neighbor had a machine shop and we would create our game pieces on their metal lathe and hand-paint faces on them. Hardcore.

Two neighbors and I got into Avalon-Hill war games. There’s a whole family of them — huge thick cardboard game boards with cardboard armies and armored square pieces (and navy and aircraft pieces, too). These match-ups took 16 or more hours to play the full game. Tricky rules. You make battles with adjacent stacked up units and use a dice or two to figure out the attrition.

I own a few of these still. I assume I’ll never play them again as they take so long to play, and I only have one or two pals who would ever invest the time.

Anyhow, those 3M bookshelf games were different and fun. “Stocks and Bonds” got heavy play. Also “Acquire,” which was about hotel chains. “Quinto” and “Facts in Five” were played, too.

Here’s the full lineup and the history of the 3M line: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3M_bookshelf_game_series

You would enjoy Mr. President. Maybe I’ll search it out and pick it up for “someday” playing.

Truth is, Mr. P and “Stocks and Bonds” would both lend themselves to an online version pretty easily, I think.

There is a vibrant sub-culture in Seattle and most cities of board-game playing that picked up in the last decade or so. Germany is the source of hundreds of new board games, a magnet for designers.

New top games like Settlers of Cattan and Ticket to Ride are doing well, and I have gone through the fad of “Ticket to Ride” with at least a dozen friends and family. TTR lends itself to an online version, which you can purchase for very cheap via the platform Steam. I recommend TTR –there are over a dozen versions with slight rules twists and geography settings beyond the basic USA game.

War games thrived in the 70’s & 80’s, Avalon-Hill even had a club where they would mail you monthly a new game: on a paper board of a historic battlefield with the true-to-life assemblage of army and armored division cardboard units.”

Mark says it’s OK to give out his email, although “the most I can offer is to talk about games, not really looking for play “dates” as I know where to go to find players.”


Thanks, Mark, for a look inside the gaming world. Now back to deciding if South Carolina really belongs in Biden’s camp.