U.S. History Media Study FAQs
View a regularly updated list of frequently asked questions for teachers participating in the research study here: U.S. History Media Study FAQs
If you need additional assistance, please contact us using this U.S. History Media Study Help/Inquiry Page.
- HELP STARTING THE GAME
- IS MY TECHNOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH MISSION US?
- WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE GAMES CURRENTLY IN FLASH?
- HELP WITH SAVING AND LOADING GAMES AND DEMO MODE
- HELP WITH OTHER TECHNICAL ISSUES
- USING MISSION US IN THE CLASSROOM
HELP STARTING THE GAME
I’m new to Mission US. How do I get started?
To play the full game, you need to register (by clicking “Create Account” on the top-right corner of the website) to create your own login and password. When you log in, your game information will be saved to your account every time you play, allowing you to easily stop and resume progress later.
After registration, go to the homepage or PLAY page, locate the game you’d like to play, and click “START MISSION.” This will take you to the game’s landing page, where you’ll click “START MISSION” one more time to launch the game.
Do I have to pay for Mission US?
No! Mission US is entirely free. Anyone can register to play Mission US at no cost. We do not require an email address or any personal identifying information to create an account.
How do I register to play?
Click “Create an account” (in the top-right corner of the website), fill in the information requested on the form, and click “Submit.” This will log you in to your new account and you’ll be ready to play Mission US.
I can’t remember my password!
Click “Forgot your password?” (at the bottom of the log-in screen) and follow the instructions to reset your password. You will need to remember your username to reset password. If you don’t remember your username, you will need to re-register and create a new account.
IS MY TECHNOLOGY COMPATIBLE WITH MISSION US?
There are three ways to play Mission US: web streaming, PC/Mac downloadable, or tablet app. Each has its own technology requirements.
The streaming version requires a computer (including Chromebooks) and a web browser. An internet connection is required to play. The streaming version does not work on iPads, smartphones, and similar devices.
For Crown or Colony?, A Cheyenne Odyssey, City of Immigrants, and Prisoner in My Homeland are built in Unity and is streamed online via WebGL. We recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for best results. Apple Safari does not allow the game to be played in full screen, but should otherwise work. Microsoft Edge works as well, but Microsoft Internet Explorer does not support WebGL. All missions should work on any computer manufactured in the last five years. Older computers will generally be fine if they have at least 1GB of RAM and an up-to-date browser.
Unfortunately, Flight to Freedom and Up from the Dust are not currently available as streaming versions, but we have begun rebuilding them and hope to have them back online in 2022.
PC and Mac downloadable versions are available for For Crown or Colony? and Flight to Freedom. PC downloadables are available for A Cheyenne Odyssey, City of Immigrants, and Prisoner in My Homeland.
For For Crown or Colony? and Flight to Freedom: There are separate downloadables for Macs and PCs. These do not require a browser or Flash Player. PLEASE NOTE: The Flight to Freedom Mac downloadable will only work on older Macs because it is a 32-bit application.
For A Cheyenne Odyssey, City of Immigrants, and Prisoner in My Homeland: There is currently a downloadable version available for PC only. It does not require a browser or Flash Player.
A Windows 10 app is also available for Up from the Dust.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE GAMES BUILT IN FLASH?
We are in the process of rebuilding the several of the games in an updated Unity engine, meaning they will remain accessible and playable on web browsers after Flash goes away.
- For Crown or Colony?, A Cheyenne Odyssey, City of Immigrants, and Prisoner in My Homeland are already available in the new Unity engine. For Crown or Colony? is also available as an iPad app and downloadable PC and Mac applications, and the other three will be soon.
- We have begun the process of rebuilding Flight to Freedom or Up from the Dust, and hope to have them back online by 2022. Up from the Dust will remain available as a free iPad app and Windows 10 app. Flight to Freedom will remain available as a downloadable PC or Mac application, but may not work on up-to-date macOS as it is a 32-bit application.
HELP WITH SAVING AND LOADING GAMES AND DEMO MODE
How do I continue my game where I left off?
After you launch a mission, if there are any saved games, you will have the option to “Continue.” If you select this option, the saved game that is furthest along will be loaded. This is most likely the last game saved when you finished playing in your previous session.
I’d like to use a particular part of the game in class, but don’t want to play all the way up to that point with my students. How can I skip to that point in the game?
You can do this by pre-playing the game beyond the point that you want to start with your class, saving the game, and then loading the game at an earlier point with your class. See “How do I save and load a different game?” below for additional details on how to do this.
How do I save and load a different game?
For all games except Flight to Freedom, the program will automatically save the game throughout the experience so that “Continue” functionality will be much more accurate than in earlier missions. However, the player can only have a single save game at a time. Starting a new game will erase any previous save game.
In addition, the program will save progress at a few key checkpoints throughout the game that the player can load (choose “Select Scene” from the “Main Menu,” then “Load Game”). Loading a game rewinds the current game to the loaded checkpoint (all progress beyond that point will be lost). This loading feature is intended for players who want to try a different set of decisions and see how they play out.
For Flight to Freedom only: To save a game, click the “Menu” button at the bottom left and then select “Save Game.” Your game will be saved and automatically named to include the date and time of the save as well as the game location you are in. You CANNOT save games in the middle of dialogs, so wait until you are done speaking with a character to save your game. The program will also automatically save the game at the end of different “parts” of the game. To load a game, click “Load Game” on the “Main Menu” after you log in or click “Menu” and select “Load Game” during play.
What is “Demo Mode”?
“Demo Mode” is a feature accessed by clicking “Select Scene” from the “Main Menu,” then “Demo Mode.” “Demo Mode” allows you to pick up at several key moments and play through the end of that part. “Demo Mode” does not save game data and will not affect your current save game. “Demo Mode” is designed for teachers who want to quickly jump to a place in the game to use as a small- or whole-group experience.
HELP WITH OTHER TECHNICAL ISSUES
The streaming version of the game does not play smoothly and/or runs very slowly on my computer. Is there a way to avoid these problems?
For settings where the internet connection or technology setup is not sufficient to handle streaming the game, we also offer Mission US as a downloadable application. The downloadable version still requires an internet connection since the game utilizes an online database to save your game, but will run better in most settings where the streaming version does not play smoothly.
What should I do if the game is crashing, freezing, breaking, etc.?
If the crash or freeze is preventing you from continuing the game, please restart your browser and try loading a game that is at least one save earlier than the one you were previously playing from, and continue playing from there. If that doesn’t work, you may need to erase all data and start from the beginning. To do that, please clear your browser’s cache and cookies and restart the browser. If you continue to experience a crash or a freeze, please report it to us as explained below in “Report a Bug.”
How do I report a bug (crash, freeze, error, etc.)?
If you spot an error or “bug” in any of the Mission US games, please make sure that you are running the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player on your computer. If the error persists, please report it to us by emailing us at MissionUS@thirteen.org. Be sure to send us the following information:
1) Let us know which mission you were playing, which version (streaming or downloadable), whether you are using a Mac or PC, which operating system, and which web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome).
2) Give us a detailed description of the bug. During which part/scene in the game did the bug occur? What happened before the error occurred and what did you see on screen? Did any error messages pop up? Were you able to recreate the bug more than once?
3) If possible, please include a screenshot of the game as it looked when the error occurred.
Help! We’re having technical issues and can’t figure out what’s wrong.
If you need further assistance that your school’s tech support staff (if any) cannot offer, send an email to MissionUS@thirteen.org and we will do our best to respond as soon as possible.
USING MISSION US IN THE CLASSROOM
Has Mission US been tested with teachers and students?
Yes – Education Development Center (EDC) has completed several major research studies that have found measurable gains in students’ historical knowledge and skills, and yielded positive feedback from teachers. See Research and Outcomes for summaries of studies to date.
Where can I get more information about ways to use Mission US with my students?
We have a wealth of support materials and information on using Mission US with your students – both in the classroom and as a remote learning tool – in the TEACH section of this website. You can also visit our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed to connect with other teachers using Mission US in their classrooms.
I’m experiencing formatting problems with the classroom documents I downloaded. What’s wrong?
Print-ready files are available in PDF format in the TEACH section. We make the DOC format available to provide teachers with the option to customize the materials for their classrooms. Settings on your computer and the version of Word you are using may alter formatting of Word documents. To download documents with the original formatting intact, please use the PDF format.
What happened to the class I created on the website?
As of January 2012, we have discontinued the “Create a class” feature to eliminate reported technical problems and confusion. If you registered prior to this date, your teacher account and all of your students’ accounts should still be active and fully functional, but you will no longer be able to track your students’ progress via our online system. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that our new, streamlined registration system will make for a simple user experience for all.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To learn about Mission US, the team, our development process, research, outcomes, awards, and more, visit the ABOUT page. Get updates about Mission US on Facebook and Twitter. To share your feedback or for assistance, email us any time at MissionUS@thirteen.org.