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.

DinoPark Tycoon

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.

Headout Picks


[THEATER] Somehow, Portland Center Stage made it 25 years without a single Stephen Sondheim musical. That drought is over with this grisly tale of madness, revenge and meat pies. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 and 7:30 pm Sundays with alternating Saturday matinee and Sunday evening performances. Noon select Thursdays. Through Oct. 21. $30-$70.
[WORDS] The 11th iteration of Portland’s Ignite series, in which folks have five minutes and 20 slides to give a lightning talk. Topics this round include “Bronyism in Modern Culture,” “How to Climb a Mountain Without Killing Yourself” and “Tales of Living in an RV in Portland.” Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 467-7521, 6 pm. Free. All ages.
[YOGA] Like most things in life, yoga can only be improved when paired with Star Wars. Use the spirit and strength of your favorite Star Wars characters to enhance your flexibility while practicing hatha yoga. Do the bound butterfly while channeling your inner frozen-in-carbonite Han Solo or focusing metal-bikini Leia to perform the Ananta. May the Force be with you. Manifest Men’s Studio, 4906 NW 22nd Ave., 223-8822. 7:30-9 pm. $15.


[MOVIES] Writer-director Craig Zobel’s torture-chamber piece is most definitely a painfest—it is essentially a 90-minute rape sequence—but it smartly skirts titillation to get at unsettling truths about a species robbed, ruled and defeated by discipline and punishment. It is a very scary movie because it is all too true. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 223-4515. Multiple showtimes. $9. 


[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. 


[MUSIC] Sure, you’ve got the bootleg of the February show at the Schnitz. But seeing Wilco is even better when you drive five hours to do it. Britt Festival, Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville. 7 pm. $39-49.