Aspen Ideas: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Challenges Game Developers to Bring Civics in Government to the Web

How do we get young people in America, particularly children in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, to learn about Civics in Government? Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has been working with the MacArthur Foundation, Georgetown University, and Arizona State University to develop engaging game content that will teach young people the importance of Civics and get them to understand how issues are actually decided in the US court system.

This video clip from the Aspen Ideas Festival really resonates with me, as it highlights the ignorance of our civic process among young Americans, a topic which I have written about in my blog series Democracy in America Revisited in the context of America’s political identity. Justice O’Connor poses her questions to Eric Brown of Impact Games and Douglas Thomas, also a game developer. Brown is the co-creator of the game PeaceMaker— coincidentally I just had breakfast in New York last week with his partner, Asi Burak and have a copy of the game that I am planning to play this weekend.

Justice O’Connor asks, ‘do we learn better by doing than by reading about something in a book’? Watch the video for the answers and for some of the challenges facing game developers who want to create entertaining content that also teaches about civic duty and citizenship.

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