Sponsored by Lane Powell

Facebook hits Oregon Trail

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, February 02, 2011

By Corey Paul

Say you're under 40 and, like most everyone else, you log into your Facebook account today. You'll notice the latest iteration of a game you played in elementary school, Oregon Trail. Only instead of rationing your resources in a classroom, you can now play for hours with friends online, spend real money in the form of Facebook credits on wagon gadgetry, and, say, bomb down the Green River collecting gold coins and rescuing drowning children.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, Oregon Trail is the most popular educational game in history. It has sold more than 65 million copies under its rotating cast of owners and through its 10 iterations. In 2008, the current owner, Hougton Mifflin Harcourt released an iPhone application that has since been downloaded 2.9 million times.

"For many people not only was The Oregon Trail their first experience with computer gaming, it was also their first experience with computers," said Jon-Paul Dyson, the director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. And the game has, well, everything to do with Oregon, from all of its iPhone and facebook users to all its elementary-school graduates.

Here's a fascinating article about the origins of the game (oddly, in Minnesota) published recently by Minneapolis' City Paper. Also check back later at Oregon Business for more about the boom and crash of educational gaming and thoughts from game developers here in the Silicon Forest.

Corey Paul is an associate writer with Oregon Business.

 

 

More Articles

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

The city as startup

Guest Blog
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
011415 citystartup-thumbBY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.


Read more...

LEED for weed

Linda Baker
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
012815-potcarbon-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

What is the impact of the legal pot industry on carbon emissions?


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS