Nine Things to Name Your Oregon Trail Family

by Emily Weiss

Basically only prudent if you get to the point in the game where you are forced to forge high rivers with only one yoke of oxen, but “Ophelia has drowned” gives the English lit dork in all of us a reason to nod in self-satisfied agreement.

Your Mom’s Butt
Works on many levels but is for sure funniest in the event of dysentery and to some degree, snakebite.

The ambiguity of the message “Somebody has cholera” allows you to feel that this is not actually an announcement of the probable loss of a member of your crew, but rather a mere warning that the disease is out there, ravaging other parties whose supplies you might be able to steal.

SOMEbody places hilarious, suggestive blame about the status of one’s typhoid fever. Maybe SOMEbody ate some rancid bear meat and now SOMEbody is paying for it.

Lindsay Lohan
In this scenario, “exhaustion” really does mean exhaustion. Plus, the epitaph possibilities are endless.

Only for the die-hard, depressive, historically accurate types, “Cecily has a broken leg” signals the imminent death of the frailest, prettiest, and therefore most tragic group member. Throw a sad little party (a.k.a. a funeral).

Best enjoyed if the player is Karl Marx or an Ecofeminist.

Ms. Sellkirk
Best enjoyed if the player has Ms. Sellkirk as her third grade teacher.

Sha-WHOO you made it! You got through the entire game armed only with your own cleverness.

Emily Weiss writes for The Tangential and was for sure one of the die-hard historically accurate types.