Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oregon Trail

The first half of my vacation was spent rafting the Deschutes River in Oregon. Twelve guys celebrated a friend's upcoming marriage by floating, drinking, and camping. Good times. Still recovering. I could handle shots of Jager off the bottle ten years ago, but now I'm just hurting for days.

Saturday's stretch of water was easy, so I had time to stretch out and admire the scenery. Seeing rugged landscapes got me thinking about pioneers and the Oregon Trail. Growing up in Oregon means learning a great deal about this piece of history. As an adult, I couldn't begin to imagine the hardships involved with loading up your family on a wagon and traveling across the plains and mountains and deserts. But as a middle-schooler in the mid-80s, Oregon Trail meant playing that old school edutainment game (named, of course, Oregon Trail) on the library's Apple II computers.

I'd forgotten about how much I loved that game until I was daydreaming on the Deschutes, hung over and sun baked. The game may have taught me some history, but talk about fun. You created a family, got supplies, and then traveled across America to Oregon. I remember you had many decisions to make along the way and the consequences were serious. I don't know how many family members I lost along the way. Oregon Trail also had a shooter mini-game when you hunted for deer. A bug in the game could be exploited to give you near unlimited food or money. I can't remember the specifics of the loophole.

I want to play that game again, just to see if it lives up to my fond memories. I doubt it would. Things seemed so much bigger, better, and cooler through kid eyes. Oh well.

Tomorrow I leave to go camping with my son and his scout troop for the rest of the week. I may get a little game time in tonight. I read a review of Dungeon Runners and it looks intriguing.


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