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View Diary: Would You Play a Video Game about Black Slavery and the Underground Railroad? (54 comments)

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  •  Ok, I went and played... (4+ / 0-)

    I deeply appreciate the concerns you're raising.


    I don't think this game is a bad thing. It's a "game" in the technical sense, yes. But it is more what I'd call a historical simulation. You don't make many choices, you're presented with a reality, and the game leads you through the kinds of experiences--most frequently to death, in my experience. Even not dying, getting to Canada, you're at death's door.

    It lacks most of the kinds of game-ness of what we think of as games. It's a device for drawing the player in, to feel a little of the urgency and desperation, to engage the "reader" in a visceral sense of the story, rather than just reading it, and being told how awful and scary it was... and how many people died.

    But they walked on perilous ground doing this.

    I suspect it would be very useful for teaching a class about the experience of slavery, running away, and the Underground Railroad. It would help make all of that more "real" to a student.

    But to reiterate--it's only technically a "game." There's no score. You only win (stay alive and get to Canada) or not (die, or are dragged back to slavery without further hope). There aren't the kinds of rewards and thrill features common to game games.

    "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

    by ogre on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:40:11 PM PST

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