Oregon Trail | Traveling history in digital or analog

Oregon Trail reenactment

The Oregon Trail - as a game, a historical reality or a re-enactment - is a powerful force. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

For most children of the ’80s and ’90s, nothing sticks in the brain more than the game Oregon Trail. Oregon Trail the game was originally developed in 1971 as a way to help students learn about traveling the Oregon Trail. The game required students to choose their profession, find the best personal loan rates, buy supplies, hunt, gather and generally try to travel the Oregon Trail to fame and fortune. Now, you can choose to travel the Oregon Trail yourself – on foot, or on your iPhone.

Oregon Trail, the game

The Oregon Trail game may be almost 40 years old, but it is still an educational powerhouse. Updated five times now, the Oregon Trail digital game is available for the iPhone, Palm phones, computers and more. Oregon Trail has also been parodied by everyone from Thule corporation to Fall Out Boy. If you feel like going a bit retro and playing the Oregon Trail game online, you can do so on Virtual Apple’s Oregon Trail site.

Oregon Trail, the history

Of course, the Oregon Trail game did actually have an educational purpose – teaching kids about the historical Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail served as a pathway for people who wanted to become a part of the American West. Two thousand miles start to finish, the Oregon Trail was a long, tough journey that killed 10 percent of the people who attempted it. From 1836 to 1896, hundreds of thousands of people traveled the trail, and you can still see Oregon Trail ruts in many places in the west.

Oregon Trail, the recreation

If you want to get a true feeling of the Oregon Trail now, you have many, many options. For the cost of payday loans, you can fill your car up with fuel to drive the full 2,000 miles. If you feel like going a bit more rugged, you could watch Oregon Trail documentaries like In Pursuit of a Dream, where two dozen college students re-create a trip on the Oregon Trail.

However you choose to experience the Oregon Trail, it is a historical adventure that still reverberates through America. No matter if you’re checking out the 150-year old Oregon Trail ruts, or playing the 40-year old Apple II game – Oregon Trail is simply awesome.