What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mission US: Flight to Freedom is an age-appropriate, but realistic depiction of life for an African American teenage girl living in the pre-Civil War period. Kids will experience what it's like to be ordered around by a master, leave family behind to run for freedom, and have to make difficult decisions. If they make the wrong choices, Lucy can be caught and the game will end. Some kids might find the game experience to be intense because there is emotional trauma throughout the story as families are torn apart, people are treated poorly, and characters are unfairly imprisoned. Also, most decisions have no right or wrong answer, which may be a new experience for kids. They can earn a badge for being rebellious, but they can also earn one for following all of the rules. One badge is earned by saying a prayer in a difficult moment. In many levels it is not possible to earn all badges, as some conflict with others.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- cultural understanding
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- asking questions
- developing resilience
- perspective taking
Responsibility & Ethics
- embracing differences
- learning from consequences
- making wise decisions
Engagement, Approach, Support
While this isn't your typical video game experience, students will enjoy the immersive feel and the ability to make their own choices while still learning about the time period.
Learning is nicely integrated; students are encouraged to seek out vocabulary words and historical materials because it can impact their story. The first-person nature of the experience may help them absorb the content more readily.
Teachers may miss a central dashboard to track student progress, but the other support materials are plentiful and top-notch.
What's it about?
Mission US: Flight to Freedom follows the journey of 14-year-old Kentucky slave Lucy as she leaves her family behind in a quest for freedom. She begins on the plantation where she has chores such as laundry, feeding the pigs, and collecting eggs from the chickens. When things go wrong on the plantation, she must run away to avoid being beaten or sold to a different plantation. You lead Lucy as she runs, making decisions that control the course of her fate. She befriends abolitionists and joins the cause, putting her own life at risk in the process. And when her friends are in need, she can step up to help out.
Will Lucy ever be really free? Will she see her family again? It's your story, based on the choices you make. As you progress through the story, you'll collect badges along the way that help paint the picture of Lucy's personality. Is she self-reliant? Family-oriented? Rebellious? In the end, it's these badges that allow you to make the final decisions to tell the end of Lucy's story.
Is it any good?
Mission US: Flight to Freedom is a powerful and compelling game that forces you to make difficult decisions, just as in real life. This is a strong title that can make history come alive. You can also play it over again, making difference choices with different results. Although the basic plot stays the same, it's interesting to see what happens when you choose a different path. This is not a frivolous edutainment title. This innovative game is designed to get you thinking and talking about challenging subjects, while learning more about American history. It's a good one to explore and discuss as a family.
Mission US: Flight to Freedom also has a complete set of teacher materials making it useful for school and after school programs as well.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about slavery. What would it be like to have someone own you and make all of your choices? How would you feel?
When is it OK to disobey someone? Name some situations where you should stand up for yourself and disobey. When should you listen and follow the rules? How do you know the difference?
What do you think life was like on a plantation for the plantation owner's family? For the slaves? Did you learn about history by playing this game?
Can you think of a time that you stood up for or helped someone else? Why did you do it? How did it make you feel? Why do you think the abolitionists helped Lucy?