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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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  •  Interesting concept (2+ / 0-)
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    ogre, jem6x

    though I agree the "game" aspect is troubling.  I grew up in a Quaker town in Indiana, and the house I grew up in was part of the Underground Railroad.  The Friend's Church will always have my great esteem for their fidelity to their beliefs, but the Underground was just a tiny band-aid on the gaping and putrid wound inflicted on our fellows.

    The runaway slave came to my house and stopped outside,
    I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile,
    Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsey and weak,
    And went where he sat on a log, and led him in and assured him,
    And brought water and filled a tub for his sweated body and bruised feet,
    And gave him a room that entered from my own, and gave him some coarse clean
       clothes,
    And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,
    And remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;
    He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and passed north,
    I had him sit next me at table . . . . my firelock leaned in the corner.
    One could do that, at least, and yet the issue would not resolve itself based on individual acts of defiance; it reminds me of driving resisters to Canada during the war, it was something but not much.

    The real feat would be for the game to make the gamer FEEL:

    Again from Whitman:  

    The hounded slave that flags in the race and leans by the fence, blowing and
       covered with sweat,
    The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck,
    The murderous buckshot and the bullets,
    All these I feel or am.
    I am the hounded slave . . . . I wince at the bite of the dogs,
    Hell and despair are upon me . . . . crack and again crack the marksmen,
    I clutch the rails of the fence . . . . my gore dribs thinned with the ooze of my skin,
    I fall on the weeds and stones,
    The riders spur their unwilling horses and haul close,
    They taunt my dizzy ears . . . . they beat me violently over the head with their
       whip-stocks.
    Make a game that causes its players to feel that and you will have taught them something.

    "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man.'" J. R. Robertson.

    by NearlyNormal on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:00:15 PM PST

    •  Yeah. (1+ / 0-)
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      NearlyNormal

      Boston raging on the edge of open revolt as the federal slave return law (headache--the name of the act is escaping me...) was enforced, and a captured person returned to slavery.

      Of course, it'd be awkward not to ALSO include the vicious, racist, horrific actions elsewhere.

      But if it's uncomfortable, it's probably something that ought to be done. Avoiding things because they make it awkward and uncomfortable is a powerful device for insisting that we just shove it all under the bed and pretend it didn't happen.

      And that's worse.

      Among other things, it empowers all the horse crap from the right about the nature of the Confederacy, that slaves were well treated and loved their lives....

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

      by ogre on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:45:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a wonderful heritage for your family. (1+ / 0-)
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      NearlyNormal

      I wonder if you are familiar with the novel Redfield Farm, which tells the story of a Quaker family that is part of the Underground Railroad.

      Pretty good book.

      "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our values." Barack Hussein Obama

      by jem6x on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:22:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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