'Minecraft' adds 'Oregon Trail' to teach kids about frontier life

Swapna Krishna

If you went to school in the US in the early 1990s, chances are you have fond memories of playing the computer game The Oregon Trail. Now, schoolchildren around the world will be able to replicate that experience thanks to a new Minecraft: Education Edition integration.

Before you fire up your version of Minecraft to download this add-on, there's a catch: Because it's specifically an educational endeavor (in partnership with publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), the add-on is only available through the education edition of the game. This version of The Oregon Trail has been expanded with learning activities and the freedom to create new paths for the game and form their own 19th century communities within it.

This isn't the first partnership for Minecraft: Education Edition. Previously, the game has worked with the Roald Dahl estate on a writing competition for elementary and middle school students. The winning story, Fluffletopolis, was transformed into a Minecraft build. Users of Minecraft: Education Edition can also participate in the "Museum of Me" project, in cooperation with the Smithsonian's Museum Day LIVE event on Saturday, September 23rd.

Minecraft has been steadily adding integrations for a long time now -- everything from a full-fledged Pokemon game to learning progamming languages. It's nice to see them going all in on making the game as educational as possible; after all, it's a great way to get kids to learn while also having fun.

Minecraft