Oregon Trail is coming to Facebook. Caulk the wagons!

Oregon Trail, the strategy game first launched in 1971, is finally coming to Facebook. So how will the Facebook edition of The Oregon Trail stack up to the original?

Oregon Trail is coming to Facebook. Time to circle the wagons and ford the rivers! At left, a photo that is definitely not a screenshot from the Facebook edition of Oregon Trail.

Ford the river or caulk the whole wagon and float the thing across? If you know the answer to that question, then chances are you played a whole lot of The Oregon Trail as a kid, probably on one of those ancient Mac desktops. Which also may mean that you're really looking forward to the Facebook edition of The Oregon Trail, which is slated to launch on February 2.

Granted, you may already be fed up with receiving a gazillion updates a day from your farmer friends. But we at Horizons are of the firm opinion that if you have to play one Facebook game – or read updates about one – then it might as well be The Oregon Trail, the "educational" computer game that first launched in 1971. It's got it all: rabbits, diseases, oxen, and pitched battles.

And according to The Learning Company, which helped produce The Oregon Trail port, the latest edition of the strategy game will remarkable true to the original. "We're pretty much beside ourselves with excitement," reads copy on the official Oregon Trail Facebook page. "Who will be the first to get dysentery? Only time will tell." Indeed!

As the Monitor recently reported, the size of the social gaming market has grown exponentially in the past year, as more and more companies seek to build off the success of games such as FarmVille.

"Historically, video games were bought at Wal-Mart and played at home or on a PC," Justin Smith, the founder of Inside Network, told the Monitor last year. "What Facebook has done is open up gaming to a much wider audience – it has provided a platform for people who wouldn't even normally consider themselves gamers. It's changing the way that the gaming business is going to work. This is the biggest revolution in the gaming industry in quite a while."


Editor's note: The original version of this story misattributed the text posted to The Oregon Trail Facebook fan page. The Learning Company wrote they were "pretty much beside ourselves with excitement," not Blue Fang.

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