Monday, May 20, 2019

Games in the library!

To anyone who thinks gamification is a 21st century phenomenon, West's Great American Case Race would beg to differ.

Published in 1984, this game leads 2-4 players through the peaks and pitfalls of legal research. Advancing around the board, the players can draw Westlaw and Lexis cards to earn points and purchase cases to win the game.

Image of the Case Race game board

Of course, the cards pretty clearly reflect who the game publisher is:
  • "Use West Key Numbers from your Reporter to locate latest cases on point in WESTLAW. Easy, Fast, Efficient. Score 3 points or advance up to 2 spaces" 
  • "LEXIS service is easy to learn and changes little over time, because it's rarely improved. Score 3 points or advance up to 2 spaces."
  • "Your LEXIS mug leaks, getting coffee on your keyboard. Lose 3 points."  
They're also pretty indicative of the era:
  • "The telephone company goes on strike, knocking out all data networks. Lose 3 points."
  • "Your IBM PC is compatible with WESTLAW. Score 5 points or advance up to 4 spaces."
  • "Your fingers are too big to type on the UBIQ terminal. Too many typing mistakes cost you time and money. Lose 2 points."

So if you ever want to take a break and be grateful for the ease of modern legal research platforms, you can always check out the Great American Case Race.

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