The video game The Oregon Trail occupies a cornerstone in American popular culture. Released in 1971, the game came bundled with Apple II computers and, between the 1970s and 1990s, fostered computer education. In the original version of the game, players led a wagon train from Independence, Missouri, to the Willamette Valley, Oregon, attempting to overcome numerous obstacles. However, the game glorified settler colonialism and erased Indigenous peoples. In 2020, Gameloft decided to rebuild the game, and the company hired three Native studies scholars to “bring a new level of respectful representation to the game.” Here, we reflect on our role as consultants in the game’s redevelopment, asking what it means to integrate Indigenous perspectives and presence into popular, contested narratives of the American West in educational and entertainment contexts.

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