From: David Scott
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 10 Nov 1996
Remote Name: tsb-63.ucsc.edu
No kids, but Jess played with me.
Once again, there were not enough kids to go around at BU. I decided to do something constructive and learn how to play one of the CD games that I have not had a chance to look at before. The only game there of any interest to me is "Oregon Trail II". I used to play the original all-text version of this game in elementary school. It took about 20 minutes to load up since it was stored on an audio cassette. Like the kids do, I started playing without reading any of the rules. I bought some supplies and talked to a lot of people. I quickly realized that they never said anything useful, so I stopped talking to them except to trade. Trading is a little frustrating in the game because I can never specify what I want to give them, I can only keep clicking on "haggle" and they will ask me for something else from my inventory. It was rare that they would ask for something in my inventory of which I had a surplus (like some of my 500 lbs of bacon). So I just kept trucking across the U.S., making quick decisions at every turn until I finally got to Oregon. I got the high score!
Except for controlling your supplies, this game involves only simple decision making. You can't control your route. You don't get to shoot any people (just animals). Still, it's fun, and I think it could be educational about how to keep track of your inventory (which comes in handy for a career in the fast-food industry).
How can we get the kids more intersted in playing this game out to it's completion? Others have mentioned that kids concentrate on shooting game, not moving across the country.