Law Review: |The Game

     Does studying for a bar exam sound like your idea of good time?
     Well, maybe it should. After all, it’s so much easier doing most things if you’re having fun.
     Apparently, the bar review course company, BARBRI, agrees with this concept because it’s come up with what it says is a fun way to prepare for law school exams and bar exams: an iPhone app.
     If you don’t feel like reading or you’ve got some spare time in a line at Starbucks, you dial up some multiple choice questions on your phone and see how you do. According to BARBRI’s press release “users can also challenge other students to multiplayer games, providing a useful tool for study groups.”
     Look out, World of Warcraft.
     I don’t mean to be cynical here. After all, I’m almost always in favor of fun. But I think there’s going to be a pretty substantial number of students out there who don’t want to compare their scores.
     Think of all the people who fail the California bar exam. Are they going to want to add failure on their iPhone multiplayer game to that humiliation?
     But I don’t think this is a bad concept. It just doesn’t go quite far enough. A good game needs a few more elements. To wit:
     Avatars. Your online gaming persona should reflect your hopes, your dreams, your self-image, your risqué fantasies. Are you tall, strong, an orc, or a teenage girl?
      Costuming is important and there should be lots of choices. Do you see yourself in court in a robe, a business suit, or a scale-mail bikini?
     Remember, avatars not only enhance your gaming self-confidence but also affect the way other players respond to you. This can be critical in the settlement conference stage of the game – you can take an opponent by surprise if you appear to be a helpless half-elf/half-dwarf but you’re hiding some mighty Weapons of Discovery.
     Which brings us to ….
     Weapons. I know lawyers aren’t thought to be users of weaponry in their professional lives, but is that really true? After all, aren’t good precedents and incriminating internal memos weapons of a sort?
     In the gaming world, these can be represented symbolically. If you answer, say, 10 questions about discovery procedure correctly, you should be able to earn the Dagger of Diligence.
     You upgrade from there as you complete quests and correctly answer questions. Choice weaponry should include: the Morningstar of Malice, the Great Cross of Cross-Examination, the Axe of Remittitur, the Deposition of Desire, the Broadsword of Constant Objection, the Girdle of Demeanor, and, best of all, the Gavel of Gravity.
     Each, of course, conveys unique powers and forces opponents to answer questions correctly if they wish to survive.
     Treasure. No adventure/study game is complete without rewards. These should be placed randomly throughout the game universe to encourage exploration and research.
     You’ll have a much greater incentive to answer all those boring questions in the Region of Interrogatories if you know that you might uncover a Settlement Guarantee Wand under a Hearsay Objections query card.
     Other possible treasures could include: the Ring of Automatic Recusal, the Scroll of Certioriari, the Potion of Overrule, the Malpractice Ward, and the Pendant of Professional Liability.
     Find enough of them and you can sell them online.
     The Final Incentive. Most good games require a final goal and a law review study game especially needs one to keep up interest.
     So here it is: the Grand National Law Review Game Champion each year will be automatically admitted to the bar without having to take the exam.
     After all, he or she already knows it all. So what’s the point of the exam?
     The Ethics Expansion Pack should be sold separately.

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