The other day I had a sudden and visceral urge to play The Oregon Trail. You know what I'm talking about, right? The DOS masterpiece that involved loading up a wagon, naming the doctor after your best friend, and yelling out, "Hey Rachel! You died of dysentery!" while you and your classmates sat in a darkened computer room, basking in the soft fluorescent glow of twenty CRT monitors.
If you don't have this memory then you are missing out. You are also younger than me, so congratulations!
Elementary school wasn't a great time for me, but those afternoons when we were led to the computer lab and were set loose to play The Oregon Trail are some great memories. I had to have a doctor on my team lest everyone succumb to the venom of a snake bite. Members of my team were named after my best friend, my crush, and two other people who I talked to. As a 10-12 year old it didn't occur to me how awkward it was to yell to random people in the room that they had died, but I wasn't the only kid that did it. I remember always being saddest when my best friend would die. I would stay on the tombstone screen for a while and mourn them.
In spite of the fact that only once did I safely arrive in Oregon, this game never got old. The glory days happened at the start of the journey when my wagon was full of meat. I was so rich in protein that I would hunt for the fun of it and cackle as pounds and pounds of meat would spoil. I really got mine when trying to ford the rivers though. My wagon sank like a brick every time.
To my delight, I can relive the glory days with a legit web version of the game! Oregontrail.com has the full 1985 version available for play on their website. How nice is that? It's also available on the DS and the Wii. I've been wanting it for my DS for sometime now because you just never know when the Trail urge is going to strike.
What are your best Oregon Trail memories?
*Header image components: computer lab and wagon.