Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Luke Moffett, Dug Cubie and Andrew Godden
The Law Teacher
Bringing the Battlefield into the Classroom: Using Video Games to Teach and Assess International Humanitarian Law
Optional Fields
video games, teaching, law
The graphic and widespread atrocities committed during conflicts around the world and broadcast across 24/7 news and social media have made war never feel so close and the powerlessness of law seem so real. This raises difficulties in engaging students in real-life decision-making quandaries where military necessity meets legalism, as well as fundamental ethical questions about the use of realistic, yet explicit, imagery in the classroom. The School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast has developed a series of innovative computer scenarios based on the Arma 3 open world tactical war simulator. A variety of formative scenarios (addressing issues such as cluster munitions and landmines) were developed to familiarise the students with the factual scenario and the computer technology. Subsequently, students engaged in a summative assessment to test their legal understanding in the face of increasingly challenging conflict situations, in particular grey zones where legal argument can justify seemingly morally wrongful acts during war. This paper examines both the learning objectives of this project, and the project development cycle – from the initial proposal to its implementation in class, as well as positing the benefits and drawbacks in integrating technology and games into the legal teaching environment, reflecting on the emerging and traditional pedagogy in this area.
Grant Details