The theme of Oregon trail took place in the 1800’s and demonstrated the pioneer lifestyle of families surviving the Old Western days. The narrative of the game offered regulation, guidelines and elements to survive the intense journey of the Oregon trail.
The game presented the narrative structure in sequential order, beginning with giving the player the opportunity to choose their occupation. Their choice of occupation determined the amount of money given and the careful decision of how to spend it was made. The purchase options included oxen to pull the wagon, food, clothing for scorching summers and harsh winters, ammunition for hunting, and spare parts. As the Western folks made way through the trail, series of unfortunate events occurred such as a person in the wagon being ill or dying, running out of money, and figuring out how to cross rivers; this is when engaging with others for help, trade, and hunting came in handy. The goal of the game was to make it across Oregon alive with all the members of your family surviving.
Considering the historical period of the Oregon Trail, the assumption was made that women and different ethnicities were not going to be given the opportunity to have a role in the game. However, their roles were minor and viewed as telling a story rather than benefiting the protagonist for survival of the game. For instance, when the decision of talking to someone during the trail was given, an African American woman told her story about her fear and tragedies she has faced. As she spoke, she had a Southern accent along with improper pronunciation. It was also observed that Anna, the only little girl amongst the children in the wagon, was not included at all throughout the storyline. Her presence was not noticed until the end of the game.
Based on the occupation options in the beginning of the game and commands given throughout the story, the primary protagonist of the game exhibits the description of a white male leading his family through the West. The occupation determines the fate of the players survival because of their hierarchy during the 1800’s. For instance, a prosperous doctor will start off with more money as oppose to a carpenter or farmer. A doctor will also have knowledge of curing someone when ill, which increases the chance of survival.
In comparison to the text-based version, it was not as amusing as the version played before. The graphics of the game are what make the story entertaining. It was nice to witness the Oxen pulling the wagon through the green grass, passing the different monuments as they made their journey through Oregon. Minor graphic details in the game are what make it memorable. The effectiveness of the game gave players the opportunity to learn more of the Western lifestyle. Overall, the West was represented as having a cautious lifestyle as the families traveled long distance through the Oregon trail.