Greg’s Cheers to Gaming: Whiskey Trail
Greg Johnson / Feb 18th, 2015 No Comments
Throughout time, man has pondered ways to make videogames more enjoyable. Like most things, alcohol was the answer. Greg’s Cheers to Gaming is a series of pieces in which editor Greg Johnson combines gaming with alcohol to make an even more interesting game.
You’re back in middle school. The computer lab is wide open for typing class (yes, typing class). You sit down and finish your assignment early. The teacher sighs and nods as you look at her expectantly. The Oregon Trail boots up. You have dysentery.
These were the glory days spent playing one of the most notorious “history” games in our lifetimes. The Oregon Trail was part history lesson, part money manager, and all vindictive killing spree. Players would round up a group, head out west and attempt to survive the harshness of the Oregon Trail. Naturally, this would devolve into naming your party after people you hated and trying to starve them.
Saddle Up Partner
Joking aside, The Oregon Trail was a truly revolutionary game. Resource management abilities, historical facts and general real-world knowledge all came into play as players competed for the high score. The Oregon Trail took something kids hated (learning) and combined it with something they loved (video games) to create an immersive experience that educated in more ways than one. Players didn’t just simply learn about the history of moving West, but those who traversed it and more importantly how they did it, skills that everyone can agree prove their usefulness time and time again.
In the same way Assassin’s Creed includes historical tidbits to complement gameplay, so too did The Oregon Trail. And like Assassin’s Creed, The Oregon Trail had quite the following in its hay-day, which can be credited to the innovative route it took towards education by using the fresh medium of video games. While games like the Putt Putt series and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego still exist today only in nostalgia, The Oregon Trail exists in many incarnations due to its harsh realism. Wrong choices didn’t simply mean you lost a video game, people died and more importantly, while the game’s stories weren’t true, they easily could have been.
The Road Less Traveled
The best strategy for The Oregon Trail is to feel and travel in moderation. Picking the middle speed for the caravan and eating only what is needed to survive will lead to victory. As far as The Whiskey Trail is concerned, take a note from your ancestors and travel in groups. Get a group together, gather around the computer and prepare for the great frontier of the West. Naming your ragtag traveling group after the participants is the best way to ensure laughter and cheering as players root for themselves during recovery and the entire group when winter sets in.
As far as what to drink, whiskey straight-up will do just fine. If players want to do it just like the settlers themselves, mix the whiskey with water, which Americans on The Oregon Trail had often as they thought whiskey (and alcohol in general) rid dirty water of its infectious qualities. Should the group feel a bit more classy, or actually enjoy whiskey and not wish to ruin it, the recipe below should suffice:
The Old Old Fashion
The Oregon Trail is a grueling endurance against the harsh elements and natural selection. The Oregon Trail drinking game, The Whiskey Trail, is more or less the same, except there’s booze to help tide off the storm of unfathomable sorrow. Players will endure The Oregon Trail as normal, save for a glass of whiskey at their side. The first rule: start the journey with a toast.
The first drink in tow, funds must be allotted for provisions. Now, whiskey is already present and must be accounted for. Whatever amount was spent on “liquid provisions” must be subtracted from the player’s starting cash. Of course, this cannot be done in-game so honesty must be implemented at this key juncture. If you’re really looking for a challenge, use the following conversion system to approximate modern to past currency:
- 1 modern U.S. dollars = Twenty U.S. dollars at the time of The Oregon Trail
Now that provisions are bought, the journey may finally begin. Players should expect to drink in sorrow whenever the following events occur:
- A party member dies
- An oxen dies
- No food is gained from hunting
- When a landmark is reached
Also, gently sipping at one’s drink whenever crossing a river (by whatever means) is also encouraged as an offering to the gentle water god of yesteryear.
Greg Has Died
The Oregon Trail has stood the test of time in our hearts and emulators, but even the pioneers knew better than to undertake a journey alone, and so too should players everywhere. Pro-tip: despite them being quite silly now, read the factoids as you go along. Not only does the knowledge educate the masses, but it heightens the experience of fighting the forces of nature in the early 1800s.
For players curious as to where find The Oregon Trail, many versions are sold online and the original can be found on various websites. Drink responsibly, follow the trail, and never attempt to just walk a 20-foot deep river.
tags: drinking games , Greg's Cheers to Gaming , opinion , Oregon Trail , Oregon Trail Drinking Game , pc