Mission US: For Crown or Colony?
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mission US: For Crown or Colony? is a choose-your-own-adventure style game where kids explore the political situation in Boston in 1770. During the game, kids make choices about where to go, who to talk to, and what to say and do. There is some difficult subject matter including slavery, indentured servants, riots, political unrest, and death. In the end, kids are asked to take a stance. They can join the fight, stay neutral, or side with the British.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- using supporting evidence
- reading comprehension
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
- asking questions
- asking questions
- conveying messages effectively
Responsibility & Ethics
- learning from consequences
- making wise decisions
Engagement, Approach, Support
This is clearly an educational video game, and kids will see it as such -- but it is a fun way to learn about history, and they may want to play repeatedly to make different choices.
The first-person aspect of this game drives the learning home by making the experiences feel personal.
Supplemental resources are plentiful (including a Teachers Guide), and although there are no right or wrong answers, kids can revisit aspects of their game by keeping multiple saves.
What's it about?
Mission US: For Crown or Colony? follows the life of Nat Wheeler as he leaves his family farm and journeys to Boston to be a printer's apprentice. It's there he learns about the Patriots' rebellion against British tyranny. He also meets Lucy, a girl who's loyal to the crown. Kids learn history and can explore both sides of the situation, although a sympathetic emphasis falls on the side of the colonists. As the game progresses, kids can choose whether to support the colonists or the redcoats, or to stay neutral. In the end, they have a final choice to make that will decide Nat's fate.
Is it any good?
Mission US: For Crown or Colony? is a wonderful way for kids to explore the historical facts that brought about the Revolutionary War. The first-person perspective makes the story more compelling, although it may be difficult for kids to make an impartial decision since the characters on the side of the Patriots seem more sympathetic overall. Also, unlike Mission US: Flight to Freedom, your choices during the game don't seem to have any real impact on the end result. Still, kids have the chance to meet Paul Revere, chat with Phillis Wheatley, and have a front row seat to the moments just before the Boston Massacre. It's hard to forget experiences like that. If all history classes were like this, history class would be the favorite of all students.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the American Revolution, how and why it came about, and what you might do if presented with a similar situation today.
What would be like to be an apprentice? How is that different from being an indentured servant?
Do you think playing history games gives you a better sense of what really happened?