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Flight to Freedom - Underground Railroad Simulation

Flight to Freedom is a learning simulation exploring the experience of southern slaves as they attempt to use the underground railroad and escape to free land to the North. Professor Patrick Rael of Bowdoin College’s History department created this resource in conjunction with the College’s Educational Technology Center. The simulation takes place on a map of the United States in the years before the Civil War. By controlling a historical character, players move across the map from point to point. An attempt at a move constitutes a new turn, during which a new event is “pulled” from a database of hundreds of events, all culled from historical and primarily narrative sources. The range of possible events to be displayed next varies depending on the character’s gender, health, location and more. The changing selection of events keeps the game fresh for replaying, but does require some suspension of disbelief because of inconsistencies that may arise across events in a characters back story or the movement of time as they move through the various locations.

In addition, the developers provide this caveat regarding the simulation: “We warn you: it may not always be pleasant. We have taken from the pages of history—from the words of those who actually escaped servitude to write their own stories—in an effort to give voice to those who have remained for too long without a voice. The great abolitionist Wendell Phillips once said that only when men stopped writing history would the story of the lions be told. It is time to hear the tale of the lions.”
Flight to Freedom