Parents' Guide to

Argument Wars

By Marc Lesser, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Quality courtroom sim uses real cases to teach argument.

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Incredible Engaging - I learnt lots too!

I really love the Argument War game, as well as the other tools created by iCivics. In my last school I taught a unit about the American Civil Rights movement, and compared it with the Black Lives Matter Campaign. This was a very heavy unit and quite an emotional task for the students. Using the Argument Wars game on Brown Versus the Board of Education gave students a much needed break, allowed them to show off what they had learnt and let them all work independently. Not only did it teach my students about the case, but it helped them develop arguments and use evidence, (something my English teacher was thrilled about). My students loved using this and kept asking to go back to it! In my new role I had my students do a game testing lesson. They were all assigned educational games to test, wrote short reviews, then shared their thoughts with their peers. They were then able to play the other games. At the end of the lesson nearly all my students were on Argument Wars!

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The aesthetic quality, story, and mechanics are good but not enough to win players over. What's more interesting is how Argument Wars engages players in subjects they probably don't pay much attention to: the U.S. Constitution, legal procedure, and the art of argument. The fact that it can get kids interested in these topics -- and hold their attention for more than five minutes -- deserves praise.

There are shortcomings: the game is extremely text-heavy for readers with less than strong proficiency at a high school reading level, there's a badging system with unclear purpose, and overall the game would benefit from added level-up opportunities (after a few rounds, it feels easy to master). Argument Wars isn't gonna soak up a lot of time; instead, it makes for a good break between homework assignments. But it packs together skills, civic awareness, and sound game elements into a package that's completely worthwhile.

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