Library of Congress Launches Video Game Challenge for Civic Engagement

The Library of Congress is calling on video game developers to create fun and lightweight video games related to civics that incorporate Library resources. This challenge is part of an effort to improve public knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of American citizens. Winning video game entries, to be announced early next year, will receive $35,000 in cash prizes.

The Library of Congress Friends’ Choice Civics Video Game Challenge is inspired by the popular Oregon Trail computer game a teacher developed in the late 1970s. Known for its simplicity and educational and entertaining value, the iconic game helped school children learn about the 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail.

“The Oregon Trail game still inspires nostalgia. People wear t-shirts with its graphics, and it’s a reminder of how fun learning can be in the right context,” said Robert Brammer, chief of external relations at the Law Library of Congress, which proposed the video challenge. “We hope this challenge inspires game developers to create fun, lightweight video games in the spirit of Oregon Trail that improve public knowledge of civics and incorporate Library of Congress resources to educate and entertain today's students.”

The Law Library’s video game proposal won the inaugural Friends’ Choice Award over two other projects presented by other Library divisions.

The Library will award a cash prize of $20,000 for the winning entry, $10,000 for the second-place entry, and $5,000 for the third-place entry. The winning games will be hosted on the Library of Congress’ website for use by the public, and the winners will be honored in a public ceremony.

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Press Contact: María Peña,  |
Public Contact: Robert Brammer,


PR 23-056
ISSN 0731-3527