The Influence of the Gold Rush on Today’s Entertainment


A gold rush refers to a sudden movement of people to a region where gold has been found and form part of one of the most important eras in history. This took place over 100 years ago. California had the first major gold rush in 1848 when James Marshall found gold, which brought more than 300,000 people to the state. While similar rushes occurred in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa in the next 50 years or so. This period has greatly influenced today’s popular culture, and since this time it has crossed into many parts of the entertainment industry. In this article, we’ll take a look at what sectors it features in prominently.


One of the first console games based on the Gold Rush was released in the late 80s and followed a newspaperman on a quest to meet his long lost brother. However, once news reaches him that gold has been found in California that quest becomes more difficult. Nowadays, console games have developed and some give players the chance to simulate a search for gold, providing them with the chance to operate mining machinery. Casinos have begun to offer gold rush themed games. Buzz Bingo provides titles like the slot game Gold Rush Express to bring the Gold Rush era to the digital world proving that even as time moves on, the gold rush continues to capture the public’s attention.

TV and Movies

One of the first movies to come to cinemas on the topic was The Gold Rush, directed by Charlie Chaplin in the 1920s, which covered the story of a prospector during the Klondike gold rush in the 1890s. While movies continued to be made into the 1960s with North to Alaska and Ride the High Country covering betrayal in the era.

On the small screen, The Luminaries follows a family living in New Zealand during their gold rush. The main rush in the country began in Otago and aided the quick growth of Dunedin, which has since grown to be the largest city in the country. The show is set in this area and documents how after the depletion of the goldfields in neighboring Australia, thousands and thousands of prospectors crossed the Tasman Sea to find gold in New Zealand.


There is an abundance of literature written about the gold rush, whether that be novels or simply articles in newspapers at the time. Some of the more famous works include Daughter of Fortune, a story about a woman’s search for love during the Californian Rush, and Calico Palace, about men and women who were looking to share in the tremendous wealth of the time.

GoldSource: Unsplash

The first gold rush in America undoubtedly influenced the country’s growth, especially that of California, aiding its industrialization. Along with influencing pop culture, the era was the catalyst for the growth of a number of companies including Levi Jeans. It’s now over 150 years since the first gold rush it is clear that the bygone era continues to live on in pop culture worldwide.

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