The Game of Mirandaland has two objectives for the players. One objective is to win the game. Unlike monopoly, players don’t pick a card and randomly get sent to jail. Instead, like many of the criminal defendant’s that defense attorneys represent, Mirandaland players start out in jail, and the goal is to get your game piece, otherwise known as your client, out of jail, and to the Suppression City game spot - the Supreme Court. In real life, defense lawyers win cases by getting motions to suppress granted, and in Mirandaland a player wins the game by getting to Suppression City, which is a play on words for winning a motion to suppress your client’s statements for a violation of his Miranda Rights, or of his Fourteenth Amendment Right to not have involuntary statements used against him. More important than the objective of getting to Suppression City is the overriding objective of the game, which is for every player to learn as much as they can about “Voluntariness Law” and “Miranda Law.”
In Mirandland, the players, otherwise known as the lawyers, learn about “Voluntariness Law” and “Miranda Law” by moving around a game board clockwise (the Voluntariness route or counterclockwise (the Miranda route) with the goal of getting to the Suppression City game spot. At the start of the game, players take turns spinning a game spinner. The order in which they spin is determined by the game piece assigned to them. Those players on the defense side of Miranda law (Earl Warren, John Flynn, Ernesto Miranda, Thurgood Marshall, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elana Kagan) receive a small dose of justice and go first. Those players on the government’s side of Miranda law (The Cop, William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy) go last.
The reason for this is that the game in some ways does not reflect real life, in which criminal defendants rarely get justice. In other ways, the game does reflect real life in the world of criminal defense. This is because the Mirandland Game Judges will moderate the game, and those judges rule on questions the players must answer as they land on various spots around the Mirandaland game board. Just like in real life, the judges will not always know the law better than the Game Lawyers, and they may not always correctly interpret the law. If the Game Judge rules for you and accepts your answer to one of the Mirandaland game questions, then you will be allowed to spin again and move closer to Suppression City. If, on the other hand, the Game Judge rules against your answer, then another player may be called upon to answer the question, and if that player gets the answer right they will then get to spin out of turn and get that much closer to Suppression City. The game reflects real life in the courtroom because there is an advantage to knowing your case law.
The game also reflects real life in the courtroom because, the Game Judges will sometimes act arbitrarily and sometimes give other players an opportunity to answer a missed question, and sometimes they will act fairly. This is just like in real life in the criminal defense world, where there is not equal justice for all. It's also like real life in the criminal defense world because there are good judges and bad judges, good prosecutors and bad prosecutors, and good defense lawyers and bad defense lawyers.
The rules of Mirandaland are enforced by the Game Judges. After the player order is determined by the Game Judges, the players spin the game spinner in the determined order. Prior to their first spin, each player must declare if they are going to proceed along the Miranda Route or the Voluntariness Route. The players then advance forward on the game board the number spaces that correlates with the number they spin.
There are eight different categories of spaces a player can land on. Two categories of cases (Coercion Corner and Important Case Space) do not have cards to pick that correlate with the space. In those instances, the Game Judge give the players a chance to tell the other participants about the case or cases related to the space. If the Game Judge accepts the answer as sufficient, then the player can spin again. If insufficient, the Game Judge can either give another player a chance to explain the case and spin next, or the Game Judge can just lecture the group as a whole about the facts and holdings of the case mentioned in the Game Space. There are six categories of cases that have cards with questions and answers associated with them. When a player lands on one of those spaces, a non-spinning player reads the question, and the spinning player can attempt to answer. The answer is written on the card. If answered correctly, the spinning player spins again. If not answered correctly, then the Game Judge will either have the player reading the card read the answer, or give another player an opportunity to answer. Throughout the game, the Game Judges will supplement correct answers with interesting facts about the law of the case, and the facts of the case. Some of the cards involve case dialogues and require multiple readers.
The game comes with the following items:
In Custody Cards
Non-Trivial Legal Pursuit Cards
The Temple of Doom Space Cards
Name That Case Space Cards
10 Historical Character Game Figurines