I’ve never used a computer game in my teaching, but Andrea Schneider and Kathleen Goodrich ‘o8 make a good case that the game PeaceMaker has a lot to teach dispute resolution students. The game puts players into the position of either the Israeli Prime Minister or the Palestinian President, with an opportunity to achieve peace and win a Nobel Prize or fail and lose office. Andrea and Kathleen describe how the game can be used to teach principles of dispute resolution in a new paper entitled “The Classroom Can Be All Fun & Games.” Their paper, which is available on SSRN here, was recently published at 25 Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol. 87. The abstract appears after the jump. Do readers have any other suggestions for computer games that can be usefully incorporated into law-school teaching?
Different areas of study have developed “serious games”, videogames with a message beyond pure entertainment, to test the application of differing frameworks to particular problems. The video game PeaceMaker, created by ImpactGames, simulates the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and allows the participants to take on the role of either the Israeli Prime Minister or the Palestinian President. This simulation can be used as a teaching mechanism that allows students to gain hands-on experience in applying several dispute resolution concepts as they work toward achieving peace and winning the game. This article discusses the use of serious gaming in education and specifically the use of PeaceMaker to study theories and practices of conflict resolution. The article describes the PeaceMaker’s overall structure, function, and applicability in the classroom, as well as the theories and concepts of international conflict resolution that can be taught through its use.