The Oregon Trail

First Computer

I remember the day my family bought a computer; I was about 5 years old when my parents decided to purchase one. I went with my parents to our local Micro Center and bought one of those large beige-colored computers. I remember being excited about getting it but I don’t think I really knew what a computer was or what it could do. My mother immediately bought me a bunch of learning phonics types of games and needless to say our computer remained unused by me for a very long time. It wasn’t until the day my uncle bought me “The Oregon Trail” game that my love for using the computer started.

dos_games05Thinking back that game wasn’t very interesting but at the time it was my favorite pass time. “The Oregon Trails” was originally designed to teach kids what 19th century pioneer life was like. Your wagon was essentially traveling down the Oregon Trail and was faced with various obstacles like having to figure out whether or not to cross a rivers. The wagon carried multiple people who you could all name and along the way they would all end up dying from various random causes and deceases. As the player you were the wagons leader and would make all the decisions for your wagon like whether or not to rest for a few days if someone was sick, to hunt for food or trade with people for supplies.

I never beat the game and would somehow always end up dying from dysentery.As a learning game I feel like it failed because I never really learned anything about the Oregon Trail. It did however thoroughly entertain me as a child and the games sound track will forever be stuck in my head.

Jestelle Irizarry



  1. My sisters and I still joke about dying from all the horrible Oregon Trail diseases, or drowning, or starving. It’s intriguing how one of the first games we all played on the computer was about a rather horrific time in American history.

  2. It’s interesting to look at how survival games, and just video games in general have changed from the very text based Oregon trail, to these incredibly complex 3-d worlds you see in games such as Halo, etc… Despite Oregon Trail’s simplicity, it is still one of the most uniquely frustrating games I think I have ever played.

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