Blast from the Past: The Oregon Trail

Children of the 90's! Assemble!

Back in elementary school, nothing made me happier than Computer Lab Day. First and foremost, in the hot September or May afternoons, the computer lab was the only room in the whole school with air conditioning. Secondly, I had a full half hour to 45 minutes of playing The Oregon Trail.

 
The Oregon Trail, according to Wikipedia, is a computer game "designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. The player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding his party of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon's Willamette Valley over the Oregon Trail via a Conestoga wagon in 1848."
 
The strategy of the game was invigorating. While buying supplies, you had to figure out how many sets of clothing, bullets, wagon tongues and axles, etc. to buy. The occupations of your wagon party were also crucial - carpenters could fix the wagon, so you didn't have to bring as many spare wagon parts. Bankers had lots of money, though, and could buy supplies at trading posts . . . decisions, decisions.
 
You shot a 1400 lb bison? Too bad you can only take 20 lbs back to the wagon. Oh, and you better eat up quick, because the meat spoils.
 
Dysentery, cholera, measles, broken legs, snakebites, exhaustion, drowning . . . all your party members start dropping dead. Oh well, you set the pace to "grueling" to make it there faster. The meager rations only add to the drama.  One of the best parts was writing up funny or gross tombstones when your party members died.
 
One of my friends recently sent me a screenshot of my death on the Oregon Trail. Cool. Thanks, bro.
 
(photo credit: Tommy Penner, ladies and gentlemen.)
 
And there's also this hilarious live-action video.
 
 
So, Young & Free people, what video game brings on a wave of 90's nostalgia for you? Let us know below!
 
Stay awesome,
 
Janelle