Okay, there’s a new buzzword at work. Or buzz phrase. Or buzz cultural reference.
It’s the Oregon Trail computer game.
It was designed in the seventies, but it didn’t become a popular technique for teaching the perils of the Oregon Trail until the Apple 2e version came out, just a few years after I graduated high school.
Instead, my history teacher taught us about the Oregon Trail with a five-day long slide presentation of photos he’d taken of the trail. I can tell you the one thing that I remember: whenever he flipped to a slide of a lonely grave, and there were many, he would say, “This person probably died of cholera. And how do we get cholera, kids?”
”BY DIGGING YOUR WELL TOO CLOSE TO SOMEONE ELSE’S OUTHOUSE,” we would shout.
Clearly there was cholera, and, as you see above, for the younger folks, dysentery — but does anyone remember anything else about the Oregon trail?
The game certainly made an impression on the young(er) people at work: it is THE metaphor for a journey. And they can’t talk about it without making funny dysentery references.
“Cholera,” I whisper to myself.