Oregon Trail

You have died of cholera.

It was a rough life. Family members were dropping like flies from various diseases, including dysentary and typhoid fever. You were starving, and you faced deadly snakebites and the raging waters that could sweep your wagon train away to certain peril. At seven years old, that’s a ridiculous amount of pressure to be under! (Not to mention the fact that you were also looking after your children and your spouse– eh, just chalk it up to early development.) “You have a long and difficult journey ahead of you,” indeed.

Good thing to know that when the bell rang you were free to dart from your desk and out into the open air of the playground, for this, friends, was only make-believe. Welcome to Oregon Trail, the game that allowed you to step into the role of a pioneer, even if it was only for twenty minutes before recess.

A huge hit among elementary kids in the 80s, Oregon Trail was based on the actual, well… Oregon Trail. An attempt to make history fun, the creators thought it would be entertaining (and informative) to have us watch as our digital families suffered the same fates that fell upon real pioneer families. In truth, though, we weren’t really in it for the educational value; the only thing we took away from it was that if you were a pioneer, diarrhea was deadly.

Oregon Trail faded far into the distance as technology advanced and in-home game systems became more common. (Who wanted to worry about hunting for food when you had Super Mario Bros. to keep you company?) In its day, though, you got to sit at a computer for a few moments during Social Studies and kill some bison (unless you had forgotten to stock up on ammo at the General Store). And that’s what made Oregon Trail yet another reason the 80s were so awesome.

We ♥ ‘Oregon Trail’.

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~ by weheart80s on March 11, 2010.

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