Video Games as a New Teaching Method

An article titled, “Michael Gove: Video Games -Lessons of the Future?”, discusses the benefits of using video games as inspiration and motivation to learn.

Michael Gove has used games developed by Marcus Du Sautoy, to help engage students. He quotes, “When children need to solve equations in order to get more ammo to shoot the aliens, it is amazing how quickly they can learn”. A criticism of the approach is that it does not help students interactively learn from experiences. Instead, the video games work to teach players how to beat the system to win the game, and how the system is structured, rather than actually teaching them about the educational aspect.

John Burk, has recently taken video games as  a teaching method to a new high, taking the popular Angry Birds game and using it to teach his students about projectile motion.

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Interactive Games for Law Firm Recruitment

Gretchen DeSutter, “The Game” Stuns Attendees at Legal Marketing Awards Program, Legal Current, Feb. 2011, available at http://legalcurrent.com/2011/02/15/“the-game”-stuns-attendees-at-legal-marketing-awards-program/.

How can law students know what working at a firm is really like?  Think realistic gaming.  As showcased as the World Expo 2011 in Shanghai, law firms have been using realistic games to recruit students.  According to the article, “Throughout, players are faced with video and text chats, film clips, emails, CNN new flashes, websites and more than 100 fictional documents to inform their counsel.”  Also according to the article, The Game is very realistic, with 3D visuals, actors, and over 100 fictional documents.  Thomson-Reuters recently awarded this innovative, state-of-the-art tool with the Excellence in Legal Marketing Award.

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Learning by Playing – Can Video Games Transform Schooling?

Sarah Corbett, “Can Video Games Transform Schooling?”  The New York Times Magazine, September 19, 2010, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/magazine/19video-t.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=learning%20by%20playing&st=cse.

“What if teachers gave up the vestiges of their educational past, threw away the worksheets, burned the canon and reconfigured the foundation upon which a century of learning has been built? What if we blurred the lines between academic subjects and reimagined the typical American classroom so that, at least in theory, it came to resemble a typical American living room or a child’s bedroom or even a child’s pocket, circa 2010 — if, in other words, the slipstream of broadband and always-on technology that fuels our world became the source and organizing principle of our children’s learning? What if, instead of seeing school the way we’ve known it, we saw it for what our children dreamed it might be: a big, delicious video game?

“With video games, kids will ‘go back and do it a hundred times. They’ll fail until they win,’ one game entrepreneur says. ‘Failure in an academic environment is depressing. Failure in a video game is . . . completely aspirational.'”

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Play Constitutional Law Trivia Online or a Bill of Rights Golf Game

Want to test your knowledge of Constitutional Law? Professor Doug Linder of the University of Missouri Kansas City School of law has created some online games to keep law students amused and on their toes. The games include Constitutional Law Trivia (Jeopardy fans will love this), and for golfers, there’s the Bill of Rights Golf game.

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Law Video Games Introduce Students to the Courts

Law video games, such as Murder One and Drug Bust, are intended to introduce the player to the criminal courts.  These games may be helpful when used in an introductory law school course.   In Murder One, the player must present a case to a grand jury for an indictment. If the indictment is handed down, the player establishes a witness list and defends evidence against various pretrial motions made by the defense attorney.

John McClusky, Review of Two CD-ROM’s: Murder One and Drug Bust, 3(5) J. Crime Just. & Popular Culture 127, 127–28 (1995).

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