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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:58 pm 
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bioalchemist
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I found this linked on another board I post at. I thought it was too brilliant not to share.
On the Oregon Trail

If you've played the game, or if your kids played the game you will get it right away. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Oregon Trail was/is (?) a computer game about the Oregon Trail. In the newer versions, you can start from various points east and end at various points west, travel in different decades and interact with other characters. In the old classic version, you started in Independence and ended up in the Willamette Valley. Your character could start out at various positions in life (farmers had the least cash, bankers the most, can't remember what was in between) and the goal was to getyourself and your family to Oregon. The game featured something like 8 colors, really cheesey and distinctive music, and the graphics themselves were rather...geometric. You got to name the members of your party. You passed various landmarks and dealt with various problems. The story linked is fairly typical for the game - it was hard to win.

I still get the giggles and grins whenever S and I make the drive to Seattle and pass through the Blue Mountains. Almost there! After that it's the Dalles and the river-floating bit! Except, of course, we're in a car, there's a bridge, we're going to Seattle, we've been vaccinated for the measles and aren't worried about dysentery (though the Blue Mountains were almost impassable this year; it was quite harrowing both in the coming and the going). :P Seriously though, I learned a lot of Western landmarks from that game.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:01 pm 
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Oh, wow. All three of my kids lived through this game in school pretty intensely, which is understandable because we live at the end of the Oregon Trail, in the Willamette Valley, and plenty of people around here have ancestors who arrived that way. (By the time mine arrived, there was a train.)

It taught the kids a lot about history, about the difficulties of planning a trip like that and encountering the unforeseen. And it gave my two oldest kids a real taste for simulation games such as Civilization.

I really like games like this. I can't help but think it's helped give them a better grasp of history—not of the facts, but of the driving forces behind various wars and migrations, and how a place's resources affect its development and even its politics.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:51 pm 
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Oh, the Oregon Trail! I loved that game -- and was SO frustrated by it, at the same time. Of course, I was playing some very early version, but here's what I recall:

I would get totally sucked into thinking about supplies in the General Store: Gosh, how about a little of this to put into our tea later. Golly, maybe a violin would keep people cheerful on the road. Jeepers, can't forget extra mittens and blankets!

And then it turned out it kind of didn't matter what you bought in the store.

You just traveled along, hunted until the rifle exploded and wounded you, and rested rested rested whenever someone got sick. It was very simple and out of your control. I got bored!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:01 am 
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bioalchemist
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Quote:
The trail was an evil joke in the miles to Fort Boise. Susan ate berries she'd found and made herself sick. When we let her ride in the wagon she fell off and broke her ankle. She got the measles next. We rested for days, as if rest could heal her. It was all we could do. We watched wagon after wagon pass us. "You'd best get on," they said. "Winter's coming." We stayed where we were and Susan died anyway.

We traveled as fast as we could then, trying to make up lost ground. One ox died from the pace. Another died in the first blizzard of the year. A third died for lack of forage after the snow fell. In another life, I thought, this might be funny. We crawled to Oregon City with fifteen pounds of food, two sets of clothing and a dying ox. There was a last stretch of river we had to travel, the wagon a caulked rectangle.

We capsized. Elias hit his head on a rock and drowned. The ox made it across along with exactly twelve of our bullets and three pounds of food. I traded them all for clothes enough to cover me. The bystanders who fished me out of the river told me not to feel sorry for myself. "You made it," they said. "You've won."

:rofl: So sad and yet so true!

Man, the first time I made it to that point I lost my entire wagon and everyone in it and had to write my own tombstone. My mom was around so I couldn't use cuss words but wow. I was MAD!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:09 pm 
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I haven't played Oregon trail either, but wanted to share :D

http://p-userpic.livejournal.com/65681039/13728306

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Living in hope
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I have absolutely no doubt that every word of that is true, Frelga. :P

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:10 am 
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xkcd on Oregon Trail

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Frelga beat me to it! I was going to post that :D


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Graphics? The version I played had no graphics!

It was mostly text based, I guess. Maybe there were some really primitive graphics at some point, but I remember you would hunt by having to type in POW or BANG really fast. I liked POW the best because it's just three long and the keys are all in order on the top row.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Best friends forever
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I missed a lot, seemingly . . . :(

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:20 pm 
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It's not too late. :)

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