Yes, that is real. It's The Underground Railroad: Escape to Freedom Game. It's $17.95. It's a board game. Players are runaway slaves. The object of the game is to escape to freedom in Canada. There are game pieces. There are challenge cards. I'm guessing maybe something like: "Doh! Slave catcher caught ya! Go directly to the auction block. DO NOT COLLECT YOUR FREEDOM PAPERS!".
I managed to collect myself long enough to snap this pic. I thought of snatching all the games from the shelf and setting them ablaze in the parking lot. I thought of simply "going off". I got my son's analogy workbook and left. So, the research commenced. I discovered that two of these board games exist and are produced by different companies. The one I stumbled upon is made by Black Heritage Toys. For what it's worth, Black Heritage Toys does make some other decent games and jigsaw puzzles that promote Black history, art and pioneers. But this, it's just foolishness being pawned off as educational. Amidst my web research, I discovered an Underground Railroad video game in the works first here then, here. I just don't see a kid, no matter how intelligent or studious, sharing some profound insight attained from simulating an escape to freedom from slavery. And it's not so much that it's offensive, though it is, but more that it's just weird and trivializes the Underground Railroad. Will there be a holocaust game? Oh wait...that's been done too. Okay, maybe an Atlantic slave trade board game. The objective is to survive the voyage to the New World and make a good showing on the auction block. THANK GOD I did not find such a game. If one exists, please do not tell me.
One Amazon reviewer, who admits to never having played the game, goes on a rant about the negative reviews of the game and even asks: "What exactly is the problem?". He also brings Frederick Douglas and Harriett Tubman into it and I thought about summoning Bill & Ted to go scoop them up so we could hear just what they'd have to say about folks "reliving" that experience.
So, what do you all think about board games and video games simulating some of history's worst crimes against humanity under the guise of "educational"?