Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology
gameloft.com

Jun 01, 2021 2021-06-01

Mobile Learning

“The Oregon Trail” Game with More Accurate Representation of Native Americans

A generation of children grew up playing settlers heading west on the Oregon Trail. They remember it mostly for the moment their party died of dysentery. Now, a new spin on the wagon train game focuses on more accurately representing Native Americans and includes new storylines and playable Native American characters. The company Gameloft tackled the redesign of The Oregon Trail for Apple Arcade as worldwide play increased during the coronavirus pandemic. The updated game came out in April. Its target audience: the now-40-year-old original fans and their children. To root out historical inaccuracies and clichés about Native American culture, Gameloft’s creative director involved three Indigenous historians. They listened to early test music for the game and said, back off the drums and flutes. They also said, don’t use broken, stilted English. The team of historians also came up with more appropriate names for game characters and advocated for new roles for Native Americans, not just roles as guides or trappers. The flutes are gone, but one old moment remains in the new version—players can still die of dysentery. View the app in the Mac App Store.

Gamification/Game-Based Learning Social Studies Cultural Awareness Educational Technology

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