Games Government Engaged Citizens
August 5, 2010
We suggest you explore iCivics, a beautiful new series of Flash games designed to raise civic knowledge and participation. The first game “Do You Have a Right?” is designed for middle-schoolers who get to run their own law firm specializing in constitutional law.
This series was originally envisioned by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who felt there was an urgent need for students to learn about the government before they can actually participate. Justice O’Connor spoke passionately about this project in her keynote at the Games for Change 7th Annual Festival in June, “Now, less than one-fifth of high school seniors can explain how civic participation benefits our democratic system of government. Less than that can say what the purpose of the Declaration of Independence is, and it’s right there in the title! I’m worried. I don’t know about you, but that worries me and that’s how I got involved in this effort to develop some civics education on a free website available to schools all across America, a Website that includes games as part of the teaching process.”
O’Connor went on to say that she was initially skeptical of games, but sees real value for students to learn civics not just by reading, but by doing. At a time when many school districts are actually dropping the subject of government, the state of South Carolina has adopted iCivics in all of its public schools. We look forward to seeing the results of this innovative approach.