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

Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GINA BINOLE

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


Read more...

The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.


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