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Former Supreme Court Justice designing educational game

Kyle Orland

In recent years, gaming has made great inroads with non-traditional demographics like women and senior citizens. There is one segment of the population, though, that has remained extremely hard for the game industry to crack: former Supreme Court justices.

That looks like it might be changing, though, if Sandra Day O'Connor's recent speech to the Games for Change conference is any indication. The former associate justice for the country's highest court is using her retirement to help design an educational game called Our Courts with University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor James Paul Gee. The game, due out in September 2009, will let players "step into the shoes of a judge, a legislator, an executive" and "teach [players] how to think through and analyze problems, take action and voice opinions to their elected representatives," according to O'Connor.

O'Connor sees the game as the first step to fixing the American public's deplorable knowledge of civic matters. "Only one-third of Americans can name the three branches of government, but two-thirds can name a judge on American Idol," she told the conference. Maybe if some of those branches of government passed a bill commenting on Sanjaya's hair they'd get more attention. We're just saying ...

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