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Friday, November 10, 2006

No Brontes? No Problem!

I have been on a little sabatical this week, and not a pleasant one. All final assignments are coming due, there is much researching, writing, and more writing to be done- there was even the tedious task of marking over a thousand lines of poetry with ETI code (like English literary html). On top of this my family is going through yet another crisis (which will soon be resolved and has nothing to do with ill-health).

What is a graduate student to do but play Oregon Trail? If you're not from North America, or were not a young'un in the 90s you might not know of the appeal this educational game has over 20-somethings. I was deprived of Oregon Trail as a child, not being American and there being no Canadian equivalent (like... Jesuit Adventure). Anyway, I downloaded a trial today but gave it a Bronte twist:

It is 1848, and you are going to settle in the wild west. Where, and how are almost entirely up to you but choose carefully because at every turn you will encounter disaster and death. I lead Jane, Mr Rochester, Adele, and St.John to Salt Lake City, Utah. Well, I tried to lead them there. Each character was surprisingly consistent: Mr Rochester wasn't far along the trail before he spained his ankle, Jane was bitten by a snake but soldiered on after sucking out the poison, and St.John caught cholera, broke his leg, and almost drowned after falling through the ice of a frozen river we were trying to cross. His accidents had nothing to do with my being leader of the expedition. Somewhere in the deserts of the midlands we lost poor little Adele. None of our fellow settlers would trade us water and she died of thirst! There is no justice! But that's the 1840s for you.

I proved handy as a hunter, fisherman, and food gatherer but then I was mauled by a hamster (prairie dog, actually) and had to travel across state 'bleeding and in pain.' Then there was the time I accidentally shot myself...

Next time, Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell move to Sacramento!


ChrisV said...

Ha ha! So was that the 1934 version of Adele? If so,I'd imagine her tripping and falling the entire journey. :-)

Lost in Translation said...

My son used to play the very old (pre-Windows-95) version of the Oregon Trail and used to create elaborate scenarios for the game. My daughter, did not take to it at all. Perhaps if she had your scenario, she'd be engrossed in it. Too bad for St. John. At that rate, he can't possibly make it to the shores of the Ganges...

Brontëana said...

to Chrisv:

I would be totally unwise to take that Adele along for the ride. She would have died before we left Kansas!

Brontëana said...

to lost in translation:

The more difficult stages are the most entertaining. The easiest level makes it difficult for anyone to die or for you to not make it to your destination since you can just buy tons of extra supplies. ;) Where's the fun in that?

Maybe St.John could continue on his own once Jane and Edward settle in Oregon. He could take a horrible ship to Asia and have all sorts of colourful diseases along the way!