The Oregon Trail was a favorite for computer labs nationwide in the 1980s, but its story begins even further. If you have fond memories of crossing rivers, going hunting, and dying of dysentery, then you’ll want to watch a new documentary on the origins of classic educational software. Created by MinnMax, the documentary is called Trailheads: The Oregon Trail’s Origins (YouTube). It features interviews and anecdotes about the creation of the program, as well as an interesting background on the state of computers, technology and education in the 1970s. At the start of the video, the founder of MinnMax ( and former Game Informer video producer) Ben Hanson explains that the company is using the documentary’s launch as an opportunity to organize a charity campaign to benefit the New Vision Foundation. To make a donation, click here. The Oregon Trail was the flagship title of MECC (Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation). For a broader look at The Oregon Trail and other games you may remember playing (like Lemonade Stand and Number Munchers), read our article on the Rise and Fall of MECC with interviews from various employees. from different periods in the company’s history.