We’ve all watched plenty of courtroom dramas on TV and in the movies, but have you ever wanted a more interactive fictional courtroom experience? The video game series Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney lets you play as an enthusiastic criminal defense attorney, valiantly shielding your wrongfully accused clients from a life behind bars.
Phoenix Wright goes above and beyond what most of us would expect a lawyer to do, investigating crime scenes and interrogating witnesses both in and out of the courtroom. He faces off against his rival, a prosecuting attorney who wears a very impressive lacy cravat, frequently yelling “Objection!” and “Take that!” across the courtroom at the top of his lungs.
Now, as someone working in the legal field, it’s always a bit difficult to watch courtroom dramas without rolling my eyes a little. These kinds of shows are full of twists and surprise evidence that make them fun to watch, but also ensure they have very little in common with the reality of working up a case. Ace Attorney is no different in this regard. For example, most of the game’s trials begin as soon as one day after the crime was committed, which would be impossible in the real world. Additionally, when I’ve accompanied our attorneys to trials, I have never once seen them holler “Objection!” loudly enough to shake the walls of the courtroom. They have always chosen a more polite approach.
Despite taking a bit of artistic license with the courtroom experience, Ace Attorney is an entertaining game series that occasionally has very realistic moments sprinkled in. I was surprised to see mentions of depositions and statues of limitations, and to watch the interactions that happen between opposing counsel outside of the courtroom – all of which reminded me a lot of real-life legal work. If there’s an older child or teen in your life who’s dreaming of becoming a lawyer one day, Ace Attorney is a fun way to give them a taste of the experience.