There are many things I remember about my elementary public school experience. Such as recess, my first time being bullied in school by the most popular girl (whom later turned out to be obese, still living at home and unsuccessful – karma’s a bitch huh?), the first time I cried in the bathroom (thanks to the popular girl again), my first "boyfriend", and Oregon Trail. Oh Oregon Trail, how I loved thee. Oregon Trail was a staple of all computer labs in the late 80’s.
While my classmates ate lunch at exclusive tables (Earth would feel hells fury if one library nerd were to attempt to sit with the popular crowd) and engaged in pre-socialite activities, I found myself sneaking off every once and awhile to travel back to the pioneer days. No, I was not anti-social. I was just plain and simply a dweeb. Just like the Sims (which I love and secretly play now) in Oregon Trail you had control over the characters. On the occasion of a particularly bad day, I would run down to the lab and load up my wagon with people that had pissed me off and purposely lose the game. Oh no! Lil’ Billy has two broken limbs and was carried away by Indians. Oh no! Poor Sarah died of dysentery. But that’s not the end to my devilish ways. It got better. After poor Billy or Sarah bit the dust you are asked to write a dear, sweet epitaph on you fellow wagonmates tombstone. Looking back I’m lucky I wasn’t expelled for slander. Here was where my first rants took place. I wonder if Billy ever came across my writings during his stints to the computer lab. In my defense did the game producers honestly think allowing 13 year olds creative freedom would produce positive, swear free epitaphs? I think not. I am confident I was not the only prepubescent child out there that used Oregon Trail as a form of therapy.
And when the game asked, are you sure you want to go hunting? I always replied Yes, I was. If only I had such a game for high school. But that’s another blog for another time.