Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Gets Into… Video Gaming?

from the didn't-see-that-coming dept

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made a statement at a conference that I think we can all agree with:

“If someone told me when I retired from court that I’d be talking at a conference about digital gaming, I’d think they’d had one drink too many.”

However, not only did she talk at a conference about digital gaming, she’s working on a project to create a video game about the court system, to try to make students more informed about the judicial system and some of the difficult decisions it makes. There have been many similar “civic education” video games out there, like the UN video game to teach kids about world hunger and, my personal favorite, a video game to teach kids how to gerrymander voting districts to get political support. It’s not clear how successful any of these sorts of games really are, but it’s nice to see a former Supreme Court Justice taking an interest in these sorts of things. Though, some might point out that this could be seen as something of a gimmick, and students might just be better served by adding a decent civics curriculum back into school (it’s apparently gone thanks to No Child Left Behind).

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Comments on “Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Gets Into… Video Gaming?”

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Brad Eleven (profile) says:

Ask not for whom the game is boring...

… it is boring to thee.

A boring game is still more engaging than an boring lecture. And it might not necessarily be boring: What if the summary pieces were the formal ceremonies where the cases were being argued, and the meat of the game was the behind closed doors action? You know, the sausage-making part.

I like the reference to the game about how to gerrymander districts. Maybe Rockstar will do a themed game: Grand Theft Government.

I think that’s why the authorities are so down on GTA and similar games: The games point out where the system isn’t working in ways that even reprobates can understand.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

How representative will it be?

Are they going to have tons of frivilous lawsuits filed by stupid people who will not accept responsibility for their own actions?
Are they going to have lots of lawsuits filed by people suing somebody just because the people they sue *cough google cough* have lots of money even though the actual person responsible is in no way afiliated with them?
How about lots of dumb patents that should never have been filed being used to sue people who actually did something for the market?

If the game is going to be realistic they have to include all that stuff. Or how about lawsuits that are trying to stretch trademark and copyright far far beyond what they really cover?

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: How representative will it be?

Your idea sounds good. I think if it was done right it would be a good game and be educational about how bad our legal system has gotten. Maybe it will get people interested in reality and help change things. Maybe a Sim Court kind of thing where you make the calls and get to see the long term outcomes.

ultra says:

There’s already been a very successful series of games based on the legal system (linky: The actual legal rules involved in the game are occasionally suspect as far as American law goes, but that might be just because they’re based on the Japanese legal system, which presumably has some differences I don’t know about. It’d be great to see a similar game based directly on our legal system, provided that it has interesting stories, characters, and art.

Allan Feldt says:

Sandra Day O'Connor's video game

I strongly support and congratulate Mrs. O’Connor’s effort to bring some educational innovation and life into civics courses. During 35 years of University teaching I have found that for some topics a good game is amazingly effective at inspiring students to study harder in order to win the game by better understanding the process. Not only do they often learn more but they usually retain what they learned better since it came from experience, not just just lectures and text.

Allan Feldt, Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Michigan

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