The Oregon Trail was a favorite in computer labs across the country in the ’80s, but its story begins even further back. If you have fond memories of crossing rivers, going hunting, and dying of dysentery, then you will want to check out a new documentary about the origins of the classic piece of educational software.
Created by MinnMax, the documentary is called Trailheads: The Oregon Trail’s Origins (YouTube). It features interviews and anecdotes about the program’s creation, as well as interesting context about the state of computers, technology, and education in the ’70s.
At the beginning of the video, MinnMax founder (and former Game Informer video producer) Ben Hanson explains that the company is using the documentary’s launch as an opportunity to hold a charity drive benefiting New Vision Foundation. To donate, click here.
The Oregon Trail was the flagship title for MECC (Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation). For a broader look at The Oregon Trail and other games you may remember playing (like Lemonade Stand and Number Munchers), read our piece about the rise and fall of MECC featuring interviews with various employees from different eras of the company’s history.