Mission US

Want to learn about slavery? Put down the history books, forget about teachers and just step into the life of 14-year-old slave Lucy King as she tries to escape from a Kentucky plantation. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Well, no, it’s not. And parents in a Phoenix school district are outraged.

The Phoenix Elementary School District apparently has no idea how the “Mission US: Flight to Freedom” video game, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities, made it to the district’s classrooms, but district parents are not pleased that something they feel trivializes slavery was used as a learning tool.

“I found out about it last week, when my son told me what happens in the game,” De’Lon Brooks, whose seventh-grader attends Emerson Elementary, told the Arizona Republic. “I was just like, ‘No. Not at all. That’s not going to work.’

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“As a parent and as someone who grew up under civil rights [movement] members, I couldn’t allow my son to be subjected to that without my permission,” Brooks added.

The simulation game was launched in 2012, and although it isn’t the first slavery video game, it’s the first to have been made with public funding.

District spokeswoman Sara Bresnahan said that so far, out of the 13 schools in the district, she knows of only one seventh-grade class that has used it. Since finding out about the game, the school has blocked streaming access to it.

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The makers of “Mission US” say the game “immerses players in rich, historical settings” and “empowers them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past.”

There’s nothing like having a choice in your own adventure slavery game. Please press 1 if you want to stay a slave, or press 2 if you want to escape!

Read more at AZ Central.