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Answered 2013-04-29 22:16:28

The Oregon Trail (the game) is based on the Oregon-California Trail - a route the early pioneers when trying to conquer the west side of the continent.

Independence, MO., FT Laramie and many other "landmarks" in the game are, in fact, real-life historical landmarks. The Hastings Cutoff, in particular, is the trail that led The Donner Party (also called the Donner-Reed Party) down a path of death, starvation, and cannibalism.

There is an interesting documentary on PBS's American Experience that tells the tale of the Donner Party. It's actually a really interesting documentary, and makes you look at the computer game in a whole new way.

If you want to take it a step further, look into how the (east) and west was conquered by the Europeans. After you watch 'The Donner Party,' you can start watching 'We Shall Remain.' It's a five-part series that tells the story of the relationship between Indians and Europeans from the May Flower to modern times. Parts of the documentary describe the wicked relationship that existed between the Indians and the conquering pioneers.

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