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EXCOMM: What's Your Move?

Revisiting JFK's Legacy with Oregon Historical Society27 March, 2017

Sticky partnered with Oregon Historical Society to help celebrate the life, legacy, and centennial birthday of America’s 35th President in their recent exhibit “High Hopes: The Journey of John F. Kennedy.” To encompass the accomplishments and struggles John Kennedy endured during his presidency, Sticky designed and developed an interactive iPad game that teaches historical insights of the Cold War in a fun and engaging manner.

Meet “EXCOMM: What’s Your Move?,” a touchscreen game that brings into the digital age Milles Borne, a french card game from 1954. We designed the game to be fun for all ages while focusing on historical events of the Cold War. Players represent The Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM), which convened and advised President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Throughout the game, players have the opportunity to learn about critical Cold War events and how the United States and Soviet Union competed to dominate international affairs.

Most people have played Miles Borne, or the American version Touring. Our version is a bit more demanding and historically focused. The premise is two world powers are competing for global influence. The goal? Score 1,000 points before the USSR while learning about the critical Cold War events. Like the original, there are action, recovery, and points cards, however EXCOMM references historical events from the Berlin crisis, arms race and space race for action and remedy cards. Each action is corrected by a corresponding remedy, with the target points reached by playing points cards.

After many builds, thousands of lines of code and multiple passes at UX, we put the game through its paces to make it as fun and educational as possible. Ultimately, we wanted to let people who did not experience JFK’s presidency understand it better and be inspired by what he brought to the White House and for the country. If you're in Portland between March 25th and November 7th, go checkout the exhibit at Oregon Historical Society and get a glimpse of the political climate during the tenure of John F. Kennedy.