Streaming down the Oregon Trail
Listen, I can admit when I am wrong. I don’t like it, but I am not above it. And when it comes to Aenne streaming Oregon Trail II on Twitch.tv, I was wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. What I had written off as boring and ridiculous, turns out to be extremely entertaining and ridiculous.
If you are a regular listener of Reset Transmission, you will know that I was skeptical about Aenne’s idea to stream this classic of gaming for everyone to see. I mean, it’s Oregon Trail; not the most exciting of games to watch. But Aenne had a plan, one that she wasn’t telling anyone about apparently, because she certainly had a ton of opportunity and never revealed it to anyone. You see this stream wasn’t simply watching Aenne ford rivers and hunt areas to scarcity, no no no. If you are watching there is a chance that you can join in her adventure and maybe even make decisions.
It’s this interaction with the good watchers of the stream that makes it much more fun. You can come to the stream and get teamed up with random folks and set out to settle the west. At this point the game itself almost become inconsequential. All of its dated graphics, silly music and archaic gameplay dissolve away because you are on a mission together and Aenne is your narrator.
My first foray into Oregon Tail ended in immediate tragedy, the whole wagon died three steps out of the gate, but it didn’t matter, that in and of itself was ripe with entertainment value. Everyone viewing the stream had a good laugh and now it’s one of those inside jokes that you can refer to when hanging out with your friends. It was referred to time and time again, even over the next few days as we began streaming other games. This initial failure is now written in the annuls of history for Press2Reset.
Other parties fared far better, most notably the infamous BROTRAIN. This ragged bunch of misfits came together after a second attempt led by me ended in an outbreak of scurvy. A group of viewers stepped up to fill the wagon and set off. Now, Aenne plays this game on the hardest possible settings, so no adventure is easy going. However, this BROTRAIN blazed the Oregon Trail like no one ever had. Suffering almost no setbacks, aside from the occasional cold, this crew made it look effortless and were fully entertained for the entire excursion. The crazy part is that the BROTRAIN marks only the third time Aenne has ever beaten the game on that difficulty.
The BROTRAIN experience was what really drove home how wrong I had been about this whole thing. Here was Aenne, playing a game from 1996, leading a group of six dudes across the western United States and everyone was having an absolute blast. I am not sure if this is the power of Twitch or just the power of Aenne Schumann, but either way I will be tuning in because it’s just too much fun. If being wrong was always this rewarding, then I would do it more often……well, maybe not.