Education is the measuring stick of civilization. But not everyone can sit through a lecture about Teddy Roosevelt's later years without getting distracted by squirrels frolicking outside. Some of us need to bump into a dysentery-stricken Roosevelt in the middle of the Amazon while looking for cinchona to save the Incan people to earn at least partial credit. For this, we have educational games, says one of Oprah's 20 most inspirational women, coming to town to speak about "The Power of Gaming and Education." Willamette Week had one of our always-eager-to-learn interns spend a few days playing the video games of our youth. Here's what he learned.
The Amazon Trail
Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Ford romped around the South American jungle together. Too bad neither carried anything to treat the bubonic plague contracted after my canoe capsized.
The Incredible Machine
You can power a treadmill by stringing a rubber band between the treadmill and a mouse wheel then dropping a bowling ball on top of a mouse cage.
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
Even after you've gathered enough evidence to identify a criminal, you need to call a warrant robot before you can arrest him. Also, Afghanistan's chief exports are nuts, wheat and fruits—not opium. Beware, one motivated thief can steal the entire Dome of the Rock.
Jurassic Park has a point: Dinosaur theme parks need guided tours. With only one lame ornithomimus on display, parkgoers just wander around aimlessly. Also, don't cheap out on fences and staff.
Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work
Apparently the porn industry, the main reason VHS dominated Betamax, is controlled by drug dealers. Scoring is difficult even in a sporty leisure suit, but you can still get in a girl's pants by giving her money to "invest in junk bonds."
GO: Jane McGonigal presents "The Power of Gaming and Education" at Concordia University Gymnasium,
2811 NE Holman St., on Thursday, Sept. 20. 7 pm. $8-$15.
WEDNESDAY SEPT. 19
FRIDAY SEPT. 21
SATURDAY SEPT. 22
ST. JOSEF'S WINERY GRAPE-STOMPING FESTIVAL
[WINE] Celebrate the beginning of "crush" with a very literal interpretation of the word, by stomping barefoot around a 1,200-gallon barrel of grapes. There will also be live German music and 400 pounds of St. Josef's sausages and housemade sauerkraut. St. Josef's Winery, 28836 S Barlow Road, Canby. Noon-6 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 22-23. $10.
TUESDAY SEPT. 25