Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Game of the Week - Oregon Trail

Have you ever heard older, stupider, smellier people rambling on about how computer games rot the brains of impressionable youngsters? Not so! Sure, there may be a few games that hyperactive six-year-olds can complete simply by pressing a button over and over again, but there are also games that make learning fun! Actually, that's pretty much bullshit, but some educational games don't suck. Probably the unsuckiest (now there's a word) educational game of all time is Oregon Trail.
Back in the early 80's, Apple II's were the most groovin' thing to hit elementary schools since the lunch box \ thermos combination. Nearly every school in the country had at least a few Apple II compatible computers, some had one in every classroom. Of course, educators weren't about to let kids pass the time by playing Choplifter on these babies, so they bought (of all things) educational software. Quality ranged from 'programmed in two minutes and only teaches kids that eating snow is more entertaining than computer games' to 'not horrible.' Only a few really stood out as being really popular with the kiddies, and most of them were MECC games. The two most popular ones probably being Math Munchers and (of course) Oregon Trail

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