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SXSW 2013: Government In Action Game Teaches Students About Government

3 Years Ago By Diana Adams

If you live here in the United States, you know that government is a subject that students (and some adults) are not as knowledgeable about as they probably could be. Over the past few years there have been articles on Huffington Post, Gawker, Newsweek and more which have reported that overall, we don’t have basic knowledge about government, and as many as one-third of Americans can’t name the Vice President. This Government in Action game will hopefully change that.

Bit Rebels press reporter, Jeff Kell, got a first look at the Government in Action online multiplayer game in this interview with Matthew Busbridge and Brian Belardi from McGraw-Hill Education Group at SXSWedu yesterday.

According to many teachers, using traditional American government texbooks to teach government is tough since it’s hard to pull all of the concepts together into the big picture. The Government in Action game solves that problem, and it will teach students how all the pieces fit together – and it’s all in a fun, competitive gaming environment.

As you’ll see in this Government in Action live demo below, this game doesn’t just cover the basics of how government works in America, but it also incorporates more complex elements of government. For example, in order to “win” the game, you have to have influence in Washington, you have to have a high approval rating, and you have to be able to get a bill passed. You start out the game as a member of congress, and students compete for political capital. The ultimate goal of the game is to get re-elected (which is apparently tough to do).

Since students who play Government in Action engage in the concepts before they even realize they’re learning about them, it makes learning about these complex topics much easier. According to teachers, the students who’ve played the game (they’ve been beta testing for a year) come to class more engaged and excited to learn about government. Government in Action is commercially available now on Mac or PC. They expect the majority of students to start using it in the fall of 2013. Exciting stuff!

‘Government In Action’ Game Teaches Students About Government

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