The Oregon Trail: Social Gaming before Social Gaming was Cool!

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Last week, as I prepared for UT Relay for Life and it’s “I ❤ The 90s” theme, I ran across some old screenshots of one of my favorite childhood computer games, back in the days of using the space bar and arrow keys to move things around. That game was The Oregon Trail. I got my first copy of Oregon Trail for Christmas one year wrapped up from Santa Clause with my other toys in a Radio Flyer wagon.

I spent countless hours playing the game which still entertains my 10-year-old brother, Matthew, on a regular basis. I was excited to find as I browsed around that The Oregon Trail is now available as a Facebook game. I fully pan to master at least a few journeys down the trail while I have a short break from graduate classes in July. You can see from the screen shots below that  The Oregon Trail has come a long way with design and features since it’s early days.

The Oregon Trail has entertained and helped educate millions of children (including myself) about lots of things, but it also allowed us to “interact” on a basic level with characters inside the game. Don’t you remember how every time you asked the guy with the weird accent to trade you for a box of bullets, he never asked the same price twice? Or, there was always that one whiny lady who suggested we stop and rest, even if you were less than two miles to the location. If you remember playing as a kid, there were lots of decision making skills, math skills and interaction simulations that happened within the game.

No, however, with The Oregon Trail for Facebook, we can use the game to interact and engage with our friends on Facebook. Which means the game will function much like Farmville and people will be able to share with you and help you out if your wagon is starving. Yet, the coolest news in the Oregon Trail community is not Facebook. The next big thing for The Oregon Trail is it’s debute to the iPhone App market!

The Oregon Trail was recently one of 10 comeback games featured by Mashable. The application was ranked 3rd as one of the top 10 iPhone apps to bring classic PC games to mobile. Honestly, I can’t wait till they provide a version for my Android phone!

To read the Mashable story, click the following link. http://mashable.com/2010/08/21/classic-games-iphone/#29623-The-Oregon-Trail

Have fun playing The Oregon Trail, because hopefully you will go look it up now 🙂

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