The Oregon Trail Raised a Generation

“The river is too deep to ford.  You lose:  103 bullets, 2 wagon wheels, 2 wagon axles, 2 oxen, TEDDY (drowned), C. DALE (drowned), ULYSSES (drowned).”

~Shit, should have just taken the ferry…

The Oregon Trail was two thousand mile wagon route connecting towns of the Missouri River to the Oregon valley, originally discovered and utilized by fur trappers and traders who would agehpgap

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Oh shit, sorry, fell asleep on the keyboard.  That’s boring.  Stop being so boring.  Besides, that’s totally historically inaccurate.  Because, we at AFFotD, like many Americans, know the real story behind the Oregon Trail.  We know it not because we “read books” or “watched PBS documentaries” or “listened to a lecture from a storied American History academic.”  Fuck that noise.  We know it because we lived it, man.  We were there, we know what’s at stake, and we know what we have lost.


That’s right, you can take your “historical discussions of the cultural impact regarding settlements along the Oregon Trail” and shove it up your monocle, we know the score because we are intimately familiar with the most American Educational Video Game of all time.

This shit is our jam, and not only did it provide us with valuable, American related knowledge, but it also has given many AFFotD staff members their most important lessons in life.  For example, it is because of The Oregon Trail that we know.

1.       Dysentery sucks ass

2.       When you go hunting, shoot as much as possible.  It doesn’t matter if Rabbits give you like one pound of meat, and it doesn’t matter that you can only carry 100 pounds of food with you, which you’d get from one buffalo, if nature keeps coming towards the pixilated man with a gun, just keep shooting until everything is dead.

3.       Gun maintenance is very important, because it totally blows when your gun misfires in the game and you die.

4.       Don’t pay for a damn ferry, they’re just trying to take your money.  It’s always worth it to take the risk and ford the river.  Worst case scenario, you lose some supplies and your family dies.  But that only happens, like, a quarter of the time.

Yes, Oregon Trail is more than a game, it’s a way of life.  While it features some of our favorite aspects of the Old West, like recklessly hunting animals to near extinction and wasting, just, so much food, it unfortunately leaves out some of the fun stuff like “shootin’ injuns” and “brothels.”  The Oregon Trail could be the best singular achievement in American history if only there were scene in The Oregon Trail where some DOS-font lettering appears that says, “You and AMERICA has purchased a shot of WHISKEY at the SALOON.  The door opens and a hushed whisper falls as FRANCE enters the SALOON.  A GUNFIGHT ensues.  You lose:  25 bullets, FRANCE (murdered), 3 PROSTITUTES (murdered), one shot of WHISKEY (drunk).”

As in real life, in The Oregon Trail you get to chose your profession.  And, also like in real life, the only professions you can ever possibly hope to have are, a Farmer, a Carpenter, a Banker, a Teacher, or an AFFotD Writer.  The AFFotD Writer basically has money of a Banker, but the score is multiplied by 4 at the end of the game, and you get an unlimited supply of alcohol.  The game stays true to realism, since the hunting screen is always completely fuzzy with the AFFotD screen, so you’re rarely certain if you’re shooting a bear, a buffalo, or a member of another party shouting something like, “What are you doing, oh my God, they’re all dead, you monster.”  It’s a rush.

Of course, like any good educational game, there are ways to exploit it.  If there’s a loophole that will make us have to do less work, we’re all about that shit.  Here is a sampling.

-          If you use all your money to purchase oxen, you can repeatedly attempt to trade 1 oxen for 55 dollars.  Repeat the trade attempts until it works, then use your profit to purchase more oxen, and repeat.  This can get you, theoretically, an unlimited cash flow to start the game.

-          You reach a point in the game where you can choose between white water rafting or taking the road, rafting will get you to the destination once you complete it.  But just don’t hit any rocks, because then you’re fucked.

-          If you are a child when you play The Oregon Trail, and you name every member of your party after a true American (acceptable instances include, Teddy Roosevelt, C. Dale Petersen, Ben Franklin, etc.), it unlocks a cheat that will lead to you having sex as an adult.

-          If you name a character “Ronald Reagan” you will kill three buffalo every time you go hunting, and your gun will never misfire.

-          When you die, you get the opportunity to write your epitaph on your tombstone.  If you write, “I’m so drunk right now,” as your tombstone, you will be able to start the game again from the beginning.  You will also be able to do this if you just select “play again” but where’s the fun in that?

The Oregon Trail was the only game you could play in school that let you straight up kill things, and America loves it for that.  It is the best combination of America and low quality graphics ever encountered, and that includes that fucked up game where General Custer with a five pixel long erection dodges arrows to bang a tied up Indian woman.  It is of a small list of educational items that those who are exposed to them remember fondly, matched only by Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and The Animaniacs.  So, when you think of The Oregon Trail, look back fondly at the seeds of your future American adulthood being planted.  Just try to forget about the time that Mrs. Sandworth didn’t let you go to recess that one day you named everyone in the game after George Carlin’s “Seven words you’re not allowed to say on TV” bit.

1 Comment

Filed under Miscellaneous America

One response to “The Oregon Trail Raised a Generation

  1. Pingback: America Fun Fact of the Day 8/14- August 14th in American History | affotd

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