Oregon Trail
Welcome to the Oregon Trail, or at least the page about the game. Oregon Trail is an excellent example of how a game is played changes what a player learns. Early versions were typed in by the player. They were necessarily aware of the algorithms creating the experience. Recent versions are conventional software with logic and limitations invisible to the player. In both cases the player will learn about the lives of pioneers. In the earlier versions though, the player also learned programming - and probably frustrations that could mean the game was never played if too many bugs existed. More recent versions may not include programming, but the player is more likely to have unhindered access to the simulation of a pioneer's journey.

We will build a virtual exhibit of the game, and others, so such assertions can be challenged or confirmed with data. In the meantime, here is a link to the more recent version.

Learning Company

The Atlantic magazine also has an article that carries the history from the origins of the game through to the recent (2014) real-life reenactments.

The Institute of Play posted a study of the learning aspect of the game. On May 5th, 2016 they inducted into their World Video Game Hall of Fame.

There are many versions of Oregon Trail. Here's one of the MECC versions hosted by Internet Archive that is largely text-based Oregon Trail 1990 and a much more graphical version from two years later, Oregon Trail 1992.

We've also written about Oregon Trail on our blog.
Oregon Trail - More Than A Game
Oregon Trail Progress


Additional references: