Brief history of The Oregon Trail videogame

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What percent of people who know what dysentery is do you think learned it because of Oregon Trail?


The greatest thrill of this game was hiding the grave markers for Fuck Shit McDickhole and his extended family on the disks in computer lab from the teachers.




I bought my wife a handheld version of this game on eBay for her birthday and it’s pretty fun although I had to question the member of my team that drowned crossing a three foot deep river.


It would depend on how fast the river was flowing. If a river knocks you off your feet then it doesn’t have to be that deep to become deadly.




That’s actually a valid point but it brought to memory the scene in Robin Hood: Men in Tights when Little John falls into the tiny creek and screams that he’s drowning.


Yeah this handheld version they released is really quite good

(They also have a Carmen Sandiego one)


I read once that the RNG on the handheld version is completely broken, so every time you switch it on it will play out exactly the same way? But I’m not sure if that’s accurate; it doesn’t seem to come up very often. (But perhaps that would not be surprising since many purchasers and reviewers will probably only turn it on once and pay no heed to such problems.)

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I’m not sure but there is a new mini one that has REALLY bad reviews, and lots of glitches like you’re describing – which is why I didn’t link it! I do own the one pictured above and it is fun.

There’s a local arcade that has an “arcade” version of the game as well, I recently supported their gofundme in Alameda



My personal brief history of The Oregon Trail videogame: Everyone in my elementary school class loved playing it during rainy day recess. The end.


Wasn’t this a story here within the past few months? Dec 4th, about a dangerous shortcut.

Don’t forget, it’s just over 200 years that Europeans started going out that way. A time before Oregon or Washington, or even a territory.

People took care of the place, which is why there’s land for the settlers.


Historians have had to work really hard to undo the myth of the Oregon Trail created by the game.

They’re like, “Yes, it was perilous. Yes, people died. But it wasn’t quite the suicide mission that the game makes it out to be.”

According to the statistics available on Wikipedia, about 400,000 people made the trip between 1834 and 1867, and an estimated 10~20,000 died. That’s 2.5~5%, which is still a lot…


Knew what it was before, but when my daughter started playing the game she asked what it was. We went to the bookstore up the block and I looked it up just to make sure. It was in fact worse than I first described. I’d left out the internal bleeding part.


The class played it using the minicomputer’s teletype and paper tape printer.

My earliest memory of the Internet was playing NetTrek in my middle school. Would have been in 77-78. We’d entere a command for some action and the printer would scroll through a few reams of paper. Then Someone, Somewhere would make a move, and printer would print another ream, showing what happened. We’d go through some disgusting amount of paper in an afternoon of playing. At the time I didn’t realize how amazing it was.

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Are you sure you mean reams of paper? A ream is 480 or 500 sheets!

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I’m pretty sure sure. We had the tall boxes of extra-wide printer paper and we’d go through 1 box or so every time we played. Each time you fired a photon torpedo it would print each and every quadrant that it passed through.

And, as it turns out, I may be conflating two different games in my dim memory after 40+ years. There was Star Trek:

And Netrek:

Both were around in the 1970s when I was a wee Pane, and we played both. The Star Trek game, though, was the printout version. And yeah, we ran through boxes and boxes of paper.

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