A computer game simulating the experiences of a US slave girl in the 19th Century has sparked outrage across the country. Critics believe the game doesn’t depict the true brutality of slavery and students should look to other resources to learn about it.
The educational learning program in question is called ‘Flight to Freedom’ and chronicles the experiences of a 14-year-old black slave called Lucy King, who works on a slave plantation in Kentucky. Users have to try and help her escape to the north of the country, where slavery has been abolished.
Upon learning about the game, after she received an email, recommending its use to coincide with Black History month, Rafranz Davis, who is an Instructional Technology Specialist for Schools, took to social media to vent her disgust.
“You would like to be a slave? The idea that a game could give a person a sense of what it felt like to fear for your life, to know everything that could possibly happen to you, which could be rape, a beating, death, mutilation is preposterous,” she told RT.
The statement listed on the PBS Learning website states:
Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The second game, “Flight to Freedom,” takes place in northern Kentucky and southern Ohio, and begins in summer 1848. The game is divided into five parts, as well as a framing prologue and epilogue. Students play this interactive adventure game and assume the role of Lucy. As the game opens, Lucy is a young slave on the King family’s plantation outside of Lexington.