Sunday, March 1, 2015

Playing Mission US, Mission 1: “For Crown or Colony?”

Guest Blogger: Kerum Kendall

(Kerum Kendall is a freshman at Clayton State University majoring in Information Sciences. He loves history and has spent year trying to get his history teachers to use video games in class. His ultimate goal is to design education games for use in Social Studies classrooms.)

Title: “For Crown or Colony?”

Role: You play as Nat Wheeler, a printer’s apprentice, in Boston sometime before the Boston Massacre.

Time Period and Context of the Game: The game begins in 1770.The events of the game are based on the events of the American Revolution in Boston.

Learning Experience: As the player interacts with both fictional and historical characters in fictionalized and real locations the player learns about the growing tensions between the Colonist and the British that led the Revolutionary War. As the player progress through the game he learns about all sides of the tensions pro-British, pro-Independence, and neutral. In the end, the player takes a stand on by being a witness at the court trial of the British at the Boston Massacre. 

Resolution of the Game:    In the end you must choose a side of the American Revolution to support. Will you choose to be a Loyalist or a Patriot? The game is then summarized with the ending of the player’s character story intermingled with historical events.

Neat Features of Game: Locations include the Rope Warehouse, fisher’s wharf, Market Street, square where massacre happened, Old North Church and a liberty tree.  The game has stages that you progress through as you complete tasks. Completing the task teaches you about events in Boston and learns concepts like boycott, and smuggling and become familiar with British policies.

Historical Connections: The characters story intermingles with historical events leading to the Revolutionary War. You can interact with historic locations in Boston in the game. You become familiar with both perspectives in the period and are able to observe cause and effect relationships that show the growing tension. You understand the pivotal role the city of Boston played in the period and experience history up to the Revolutionary War from a personal perspective.

How you know students have played: The web site provides resources for teachers to use to build on student experience in the game and monitor student progress.

Overall: This game has a very interesting story line that I have enjoyed. The game is enjoyable for all ages. This is the first game in the series and does require the player to interact with the characters  and locations in the game.  The style is story-based with choose your own adventure course. Players must interact to be successful. It could be used in a traditional classroom or a homeschool setting.

Publishers and Sponsors: Mission US is as a history based educational interactive funded and supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a number of historical education groups.  The Mission 1: “For Crown or Colony?” is the official video game of the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail Foundation preserves important sites of the American Revolution in Boston.

Platform: Online, Apple iPad, Android Tablet

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