New virtual experience immerses students in the history of slavery and abolition

THIRTEEN announces the launch of Mission US: “Flight to Freedom,”the second in a series of U.S. history role-playing games for middle school students. “Flight to Freedom”immerses learners in the experiences of a runaway slave in the years before the Civil War. Educators and students can access the game via streaming and download through any Internet-connected computer at, making it accessible in the classroom, the library, school technology lab and at home.

In “Flight to Freedom” players take on the role of Lucy King, a fictional 14-year-old enslaved in Kentucky in 1848. As they navigate her escape and journey to Ohio via the Underground Railroad, they discover that life in the “free” North is dangerous and difficult. Players encounter a diverse group of people – from abolitionists to slave owners – and make decisions that affect the game’s outcome. “Flight to Freedom” helps students learn how enslaved people’s choices – from small, everyday acts of resistance to action that sought an end to slavery – affected the lives of individuals, and ultimately the nation.

The accompanying curriculum includes primary sources such as maps, posters, runaway ads, slave narratives and other materials. Students also interact with the game’s embedded “Smartwords” to build vocabulary and historical literacy skills.

The content for “Flight to Freedom”was developed by a team of historians and educators at the American Social History Project (ASHP)/Center for Media & Learning, a research center at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.