PORTRAIT OF A TYRANT

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE


Portrait of a Tyrant is a six-episode adventure game for students to learn about the Declaration of Independence, its historical context and contemporary relevance. The episodes take place over the course of twelve years leading up to the American Revolution and the signing of the Declaration (1765-1776). The heroine, Briana Little, is an adolescent person of color, living in an insecure state of freedom, who adheres to a persecuted religious faith. Briana and players experience a number of key events in the lead up to the Revolution, confront multiple viewpoints on these events, and are asked to make complex moral and political choices, just as early Americans were. Players learn about how colonists assembled their various complaints into a shared list of formal grievances, and about the basic concepts that gave the Founders a blueprint for a democratic republic. Along with engaging game mechanics, the game makes ample and innovative use of large numbers of primary source images, texts, songs, and poems.

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The Democratic Knowledge Project is an initiative of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.