Abstract

This article examines the co-constitutive relationship between ideology and geography in three editions of the educational computer game The Oregon Trail, arguing that the game reinforces a colonialist worldview through representations of place, space, and time. Despite seeming to accommodate players of any race or gender, The Oregon Trail imagines its protagonist—the "you" traveling the Trail—as white and male, a construct that reinforces the supremacist narrative of nineteenth-century settlement. Through a rapid in-game compression of time and space that urges progress, the game encourages child players to perform the spatialized worldview that codifies manifest destiny.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 374-395
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-10
Open Access
No
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