Thursday, September 17, 2009
Oregon Trail--Metaphor for Life
Sorry it's been so long since I blogged. My sister came to visit not long after my last post, and then I had another friend visit shortly after that. So, as always, when you have stuff to blog about, you don't have time to blog! Ah well.
So, this morning I actually woke up to the sound of Matt getting ready for work--which normally does not rouse me. Apparently the power was out, so our fan was off, and I had a clearer earshot to the sound of the shower turning on and off or something. Anyway, since Matt couldn't play his game before work for a few minutes, he had to use his iPhone to entertain himself--we're so put upon in this world, aren't we?
Anyway, he has an app for Oregon Trail. So, since I was awake, I had breakfast and watched him play. I noticed he was down to 3/5 of his original party (which is actually still good--as long as you have over half your party, it's still hilighted in green instead of red). I asked him where they were. He said two of his children, at separate times, had been carried away by eagles! What the heck? How does that happen? Did that really happen on the Oregon Trail? And TWO of your children!? Oi. It's a funny game. They always let you know, once you get to a trading post or campsite how you're doing--if you're on time, how many people you still have, and how your group's health is. Sometimes along the trail random things happen and you have to decide what to do. For example--"You're wife has been mauled by a bear. What would you like to do? (1) Continue on your journey or (2) Rest." Well, if you don't want to lose another member of your party, you should probably rest. Or for another example, "Your son has dysentary" "You have come to a stream, would you like to ford it, or ferry across?" All of these things usually require you to rest, and start to put you behind schedule. What happens if you can't catch up? You might get stuck in a snowstorm and die later in the game! Scary stuff, right? Matt's always trying to get back up to speed by pressing the rabbit button and making his family run to Oregon, but then that lowers their health, and he has to rest for a couple of days to get their health back up again. But, it's either that or go at a turtle's pace and you still might lose health from random eagles, bears, snakes, and sicknesses. So many decisions. I'm not even gonna get started on the mini-games for getting food and fixing your wagon, but you get the idea...
So, when I was a kid, I thought this game was ridiculous. I thought, that's not real life--that much bad stuff never happens that close together. Well, this morning I started thinking about how my life would have looked on Oregon Trail over the last few weeks...
"Your computer's motherboard stops working--you can't use your USB ports." Matt bought a new motherboard and got it all hooked up, but it took about a week.
"Your birthday (assuming Matt is the main character) is coming up and there has been a reduction in price on a gaming system you've been wanting to purchase for 2 years." We bought it. We're crazy, but Matt is happy.
"Your birthday present breaks after one week. The company who made it can't fix it because the new model is too new." You wait, and you cry. (2 weeks later, you call Amazon.com, they accept fault and send you a new one. We love them.)
"Your sister and her three boys are coming to visit." You go at a rabbit's pace for 6 days, but you're already very pregnant, so your health is low. (We had a grand time, but Matt and I both got sick at the end of the trip. Keep reading and you'll understand why I'm not posting more on this trip at this time.)
"Your motherboard stops working--your video card and hard drives are corrupted--you can't see the pictures you loaded from your sister's trip." I'm not kidding! This is like your kid being carried off by an eagle... TWICE! Well, this time, we don't have enough funds to replace both the motherboard and the video card, so we have to wait for a while. And I won't be able to see the pictures of my sister's trip until we fix the computer. Oi.
"It's your birthday. Your wife thinks she might have broken her water just slightly, so she steals 3 hours of sleep and lowers your health. She still plans to make brownies for sundaes, and also wants to make your dinner. Too bad! She burns her hand making the brownies and you have to make your own birthday dinner! Because she has to (a) REST her hand in a bowl of cold water for 5 hours!" I felt so bad. Maybe a better birthday for Matt next year :(
Then there are the smaller things in life...
"Your fridge is empty. (or almost everything in it has gone bad because you've been neglecting it for 2 months). What would you like to do? (1) Scrounge for 3 more days, or (2) go grocery shopping." Usually we choose (1), and then (2).
I guess the only way to end this post is with the reason I started it. We ended up playing Oregon Trail until 8:15am. Matt usually likes to get to work around 8am. So our final message from our Oregon Trail life is:
"You decided to play Oregon Trail for way longer than you should have." Your health has gone up, but you are even further behind schedule. I hope you don't get caught in a snowstorm and die later...
So, sorry about the lack of pictures, but hopefully we'll come up with a good solution soon. As far as adding a member to our party, I have another doctor's appointment today and we'll see if I'm making any progress.