Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oregon Trail is the shit, yo

It's been a much busier day than I anticipated. I had absolutely no time to play Oregon Trail.

You played Oregon Trail, right? RIGHT?

I ask because at a fancy Hollywood party Saturday night I brought up Oregon Trail and nobody knew what the hell I was talking about.

It was mostly people from Cartoon Network, too, so it's not like I was at a party full of people who never touched a computer before. These people live inside computers.

So I guess "fancy" Hollywood party is not entirely accurate. Just Hollywood party, then. And actually it was a Glendale party. But there was a sundae bar so it was still awesome.

At any rate, nobody knew about Oregon Trail so I started polling people and this one guy played it. Then this other really drunk guy claimed to have played it but I think he was lying because he said it sucked and NOBODY who ever played it would say that. Also he was an asshole in general. The Beefcake kept waiting for me to give the signal to beat the guy up, but I did not know he was waiting for such a signal so I didn't give it. We need to work on our signaling because he totally forgot our "I want to leave now please" signal.

This whole conversation reignited my love for Oregon Trail, although it is very difficult to find the game in its original form. I found a website where you can play it online but it's blocked at work. The only one I could buy is version 5, which I got for $6 from some Amazon dealer.

I played the online version. Still awesome.

In the game you and four of your closest friends or family members hop in a covered wagon with your purchased supplies and head west on the trail. You ford rivers, you get typhoid, a thief comes in the night and steals a wagon axle, you hunt buffalo but can only carry 100 pounds back to the wagon so you leave most of it rotting in the sun, setting off a war between Indians and whites that will last until the whites finally wipe out all brown skinned men who are then replaced in larger numbers by their Mexican cousins.

If somebody in your wagon dies you get to write whatever you want on their tombstone and then you see this tombstone from then on when you play the game.

The real fun in the game is when somebody in your wagon has cholera and you can see the fort 40 miles ahead and you only have like 3 pounds of food left. You wouldn't think a game that simple would get so heated, but it does.

So this brings me to my question. Am I delusional? I thought everybody played Oregon Trail, but I learned at this party that apparently people didn't care to learn about the trials of our pioneers. Did you play Oregon Trail? What computer games do you remember fondly? And if you're too old, tell us about the time you rolled a hoop downhill with a stick.


  1. Hell yes I played Oregon Trail.

    I even skipped class a few time and spent in the library playing that damn game on the Apple II e's or whatever the machines were.


  2. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Facebook has some kind of Oregon Trail app so you can still play it with your elementary school mates.

  3. For the first time ever, I have no idea what you're talking about. This probably makes me old. Elsewhere on the net, I was talking about how BATMAN opened twenty years ago today. Maybe we can settle this by separating the people who remember seeing it that day from the people who, um, don't.

  4. I totally played Oregon Trail. And I continue to hear random Oregon Trail references all the time.

  5. I LOVED Oregon Trail. After I while I stopped playing the game the normal way and tried to see how *poorly* I could do and still reach the end. If you did too badly, the game would quit for you. But I liked rolling into the last fort, having forded every rapid river, never treating my children (and therefore probably not having anymore), no food left, and one and a half oxen to pull the darn thing.

    I also loved Scarab of Ra. It was a maze game set in a pyramid, and you not only got into deeper and more complicated mazes, but you had to find stuff like food and oil for your lantern and tranquilizer darts for the lions and the monkeys who would steal from you. The goal was to find all three artifacts of Ra and then make it out of whatever level you were in, but once you picked up the Scarab, the mummies would start coming after you.

    Unfortunately, Scarab of Ra only runs on an older Mac OS. I hate that.

  6. it's fun to think of indians and mexicans as cousins.
    i'd heard of oregon trail as i live inside of pop culture, but never played it. so i have no love for it. but it's one of those things, like the movie cloak and dagger, that if it gets you at the right time, you'll love it forever. no matter what.
    i guess what i'm saying is, do not rewatch cloak and dagger.

    1. The game arbitrarily tells you 'You died of dysentery'. How fun is that?
    2. Games I'd to play: Civ, Colonization, the old Res Evil!

    Good Lord.

  8. Oregon Trail was/is indeed the shit, yo.

    Do you want to trade with me?

  9. The best thing about Oregon trail was naming your party. There's nothing like being told "Mr. Spock has injured his leg replacing a wagon wheel."

    Also, I can't tell you how many times I *tried* to die in that game, purchasing nothing but a single bullet at the start, for instance, and the stupid Native Americans kept giving me berries to prevent me from starving!!


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