Don Rawitsch is a co-inventor of the most widely distributed digital educational game of all time of all time.
Oregon Trail was created not in Oregon, but by Carleton College seniors Bill Heinemann, Paul Dillenberger, and Rawitsch right here in Minnesota circa 1971:
“I wanted a game to help me teach about the Westward Movement in the mid-1800s. My partner math teachers knew some programming. We had access to a mainframe computer that did all its communicating via printed text,” he recalls, and the rest is history.
Rawitsch recently took to the popular forums of Reddit for an AMA, or ‘Ask Me Anything’, whereby community members can ask literally anything on the subject matter. He replied to over 50 questions, and with 2,000 comments and nearly 6,000 points — it’s clear that the nostalgic appreciation of this game is timeless.
What’s interesting is that despite the popularity and ubiquitous brand equity, Rawitsch says he never noticeably profited from the games sales: