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I am somewhat in awe of the nostalgic popularity of the game Oregon Trail. Why did this game become so embedded in the cultural psyche of several generations in the US?

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closed as not constructive by LessPop_MoreFizz, StrixVaria, Jeffrey Lin, Fluttershy, Ben Brocka Jun 23 '13 at 13:26

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Thanks for the tag add Oak. I was going to put that in but not enough rep. – Tim Holt Dec 19 '10 at 21:01
and Canada, don't forget Canada. I actually have an Apple II just so I can still play Oregon Trail and Number Munchers. – au revoir Dec 19 '10 at 23:12
@Jason Berkan Pssst, The Oregon Trail and Number Munchers are both on iOS. Although I suppose the experience just isn't quite the same . . . – Kevin Yap Dec 19 '10 at 23:38
"What Would You Like On Your Tombstone?" "Pepperoni and Cheese". ALL of my classmates did that at least once. – VxJasonxV Dec 20 '10 at 6:04
Funny you'd bring up Math Munchers. The company I work for sells a branded version of it named "Math Munchers for the 21st Century", which I was just playing to do some usability testing. It's interesting to compare it to the Apple ][ original. Same game, but shinier. – Tim Holt Dec 22 '10 at 17:56
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Because it was a video game that we got to play in school. It was installed on every machine in every computer lab I set foot in from second grade on through 8th grade, in some iteration or another, and that experience seems to have been mirrored by everyone else I've spoken to about the game.

For a lot of us, getting to play Oregon Trail was the highlight of the school day for years.

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An interesting experiment would be to go back and play it again after all those years, and see if it still has any allure to you as a game player. – Tim Holt Dec 19 '10 at 20:47
Great answer. I think that, because we got to play it in school, it became ingrained in us just like many other school-age memories, inside jokes and other such things associated with our classmates which we remember when we think about our childhoods. – Josh Dec 19 '10 at 22:02
This was my initial impression as well -- color me surprised to see that I was not alone in this. – Raven Dreamer Dec 20 '10 at 1:15
I love that you both answered my question, and voted to close it ;) – Tim Holt Jun 23 '13 at 23:25
@Tim nearly three years have passed. Standards around here have changed, and we should close old questions to reflect that when we see them. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jun 23 '13 at 23:42

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