The Oregon Trail

Playing video games has been a past time for decades. One that many people have memories of is Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail is a flash game where you control a group of five pioneers moving across the United States. The game has spawned memes and spin-off versions.

The version I played was the deluxe version, which had a more detailed interface for the game than I remember. The majority of the game is text/story based with you making small changes and decisions for the group, such as how fast you travel and what you bring with you on the trail. I played through twice and had basically the same experience both times.

The actual gameplay does not give you a lot of historical background for the trail, but it is possible to read about the areas and groups you can come across in the guide section. This can be a hard thing to manage as introducing a game with large text blocks can make the game feel overwhelming and boring to a younger audience, which is who they are likely targeting with games. Having a lack of accurate history can trivialize the history itself, as it no longer is an educational tool and is instead a game just fir entertainment value.

1 comment

  1. I also agree that having a lack of accurate history can trivialize the history itself, especially since the game itself doesn’t provide much historical background on the Oregon Trail. Since the game’s target audience was school children, I personally think they they put entertainment above education so that these children would be more engaged in learning about history.

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