Sunday, April 22, 2007

_______ has died

God, I hope this makes sense to at least one of you, because revealing the full extent of my geekdom isn't worth it unless I can drag others down with me.

When I look back on middle school, very little stands out -- apart from the constant bullying, the clumsy colt's body, and the electric green braces. Somehow, I thought that last one would be awesome because the X-Files season finale was coming up, and these were sort of an alien green, thereby broadcasting my undeniable hipness to the world at large. It's shocking, really, that the first day I showed up with my new bands, the girl in the front row asked if I was cultivating a new fungus for our science class.

What does stand out? Hunching over my computer playing the Coolest Game Ever. C'mon: if you didn't die of dysentery, you might be able to pick a crapload of berries before fording the Columbia on your way to pixellated utopia. It pleases me to no end that there are several dozen Facebook groups devoted to Oregon Trail, because obviously all of us geek kids have become cool, fully functional people in the current day.

And it's not like I named my characters Fox or Mulder or anything stupid like that. Sheesh. I had a little more sense, please. My wagondriver's name was Duchovny. Today, having reached the stage in my life where I'm actually purchasing adult-looking clothing, I would christen my OT characters with names that acknowledge the difficult road they faced as they trudged through their two-dimensional landscape, a place where oxen perished in three feet of water. The names would be completely unrelated to television fantasies and would instead invoke images of bravery and all-American courage, like...erm...Jamie. Or Apollo. Who is a Greek god, after all, and was long before a far more attractive character adopted the moniker.

'Scuse me. My sister just died of snakebite.


Anonymous said...

You were in middle school when you played OT? You are old. My friends and I would stay in during recess in 4th grade and play. Why run around outside like an idiot when I can be outside in spirit and waste boxes of ammunition trying to hunt little rabbits in the prairies. For some reason the graphics didn't seem so crappy back then.

Well I hope your happy making me reveal my geekiness. Although something already tells me that those who know me probably already new.

By the way my condolences to your family for the untimely death of your sister. RIP.


Anonymous said...

OMG - (and I can't believe I just typed OMG) - OT is the best game. Ever. Did you realize that you can download a free version with an Apple Emulator on the Internet? A certain fiance of mine and I did this not too long ago, and we spent a good three nights reveling in how darn GOOD we are at this game (compared to our pitiful younger selves). And did you know you could actually MOVE the hunter's position when you hunt for those elusive buffalo? Had I only known this years ago, I think I might have had a better chance at reaching the "promised land" without losing all of my oxen and killing off my family members :)

~Your fellow geeky Stanford Bud

Kristy said...

I've never played Oregon Trail, but I think "Donner" would have been a fabulous name. Maybe it's not too late...?

ecogrrl said...

BIL, sadly we didn't play this during recess -- it was part of our keyboarding class. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Stanford Bud, I love you. Seriously. I had no clue you could move the stupid hunter, either! Must go download.

Kristy, I'm sure I must have used Donner as a name once. I hope!