Get ready for a pixelated presidential punchfest

Lincoln emancipates with authority on Battle for Presidency.

While Obama and Romney duke it out in battleground states like Ohio, Colorado and Virginia, there’s an even fiercer fight for the Oval Office going down in Las Vegas. In an apartment at the Ogden, Dax Garner, Lee Garner and Candin Marks are strategizing about the candidates’ best moves and greatest strengths. But they’re not concerned with politics or policy.

The best way to determine the leaders of the future: clearly, a presidential death match. The Garner brothers and Marks are the team behind Battle for Presidency—a Downtown Project-funded one-on-one fighting game that foregoes ordinary superheroes and ninjas for presidents and politicians—all primed for destruction with steroidal muscles and historically minded moves.

George W. Bush is a crafty Navy Seal, Obama an MMA champ. Teddy Roosevelt? “He’s just a badass,” says Dax, the team’s resident historian. “He gave a 90-minute speech with a bullet in his chest.” Over a year in the making, Presidency’s beta version will be out soon, its official debut expected in November.

The digital characters reflect the actual stories of their human inspirations, so Roosevelt, who greatly expanded the national parks system, fights with a bear trap and yes, carries a big stick. Lincoln performs a move called the “liberator.” Candin likes to play with Ron Paul, a Gandalf-like character whose historical connections are perhaps the most tenuous. “He throws these magical fireballs,” she says, laughing. “He’s limber.”

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