An attorney is developing an online game aimed at teaching its players about estate planning. Stephanie Kimbro has created a demo for the game, “Estate Quest,” where the player is a detective who is given various cases about people who did not plan their estates correctly. The player is taken back in time and given clues about what the person should have done in his estate or written in his will. Examples include naming a guardian, specifying bequests to certain people, or naming an executor.
Using Crowdsourcing for Legal Products
Ms. Kimbro has been utilizing online crowdsourcing such as Rockethub as a means to develop her game. Crowdsourcing websites allow developers to explain their idea to everyone on the internet, and if people want to invest in the idea they donate money to the venture. Crowdsourcing is also a good tool for gauging interest in potential products. Ms. Kimbro is interested to learn about how crowdsourcing can be used to advance legal services projects, and she is using Estate Quest as a test product.
Teaching Estate Planning through Gaming
The goal of law-related online games such as Estate Quest is to teach people of all ages about certain topics in the law. Ms. Kimbro is also working with Illinois Legal Aid Online to develop a game that teaches its players about landlord/tenant law. She stated that the goals of these legal games are to:
· Empower players to prevent legal problems before they happen · Award players with points that can be used as discounts for access to legal assistance online · Increase access to justice through engagement and power of gaming to teach basic legal rights · Build a fun game that may be played online in a social capacity with friends and family
A game like Estate Quest appeals to a younger, more tech-savvy generation, and it can teach players about important legal topics at a younger age. It also encourages younger players to play the game with older members of their family who may have a more pressing need for legal information about estate planning.
The animated game play also serves as a way to discuss sensitive subjects in a more approachable manner. One of the main reasons why so many people do not have an estate plan in place is because the subject matter is uncomfortable to talk about. Others attempt estate planning on their own without an experienced attorney because they do not wish to discuss final wishes or financial matters with others. Games such as Estate Quest can help to facilitate the conversation about estate planning as well as highlight the potential issues that can come with attempting estate planning on your own.