iCivics awarded $400,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop new game, Supreme Justice

January 12, 2022

iCivics is thrilled to announce a $400,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a unique game-based experience—Supreme Justice—aimed at engaging younger learners ages 12–18. Unlike anything in iCivics’ suite of game-based education materials, Supreme Justice will be a multimedia experience, building on best practices in civic education, including simulations and role-playing, and complete with supports for English language learners.

The game, which will be co-developed with game design studio Gigantic Mechanic, will allow students to engage in a live-action multiplayer simulation via technology that combines videos, individualized student profiles, and real-time voting. The game will focus on freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and due process rights—all while simulating the deliberation process of Supreme Court Justices. Students must hear cases and determine whether the law, regulation, or action at issue is constitutional.

“We are incredibly grateful for this NEH funding that will enable us to offer a new, innovative Supreme Court digital simulation,” said iCivics Executive Director Louise Dubé. “This grant makes possible the reimagining of one of our signature games that was close to the heart of our founder, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.” 

Supreme Justice will model deliberation and critical thinking in a civic setting, grounded in historical cases and relying heavily on the U.S. Constitution as evidence. The gaming experience will guide students to engage in face-to-face discussions, while working together to craft arguments and debate issues central to civic and government life. Once the game is developed, it will be available—for free—on iCivics’ website.

Learn more about the other grantees and how the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant programs support research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.