A blogger recently "reviewed" uber-book-publicist Sloane Crosley's book of essays, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, on her personal blog. "I too am a twenty-something year old self-absorbed, middle-class angst who can relate to quite a few of Sloane’s shenanigans. Oh you know, the standard white-girl fare..." Cute, whatever. But! This very same blogger, we notice, can relate to quite a few of Sloane's shenanigans: she's written essays in the past month on her blog about a.) being a bad vegetarian, b.) being a pack rat, and c.) spending a childhood playing the videogame Oregon Trail. Coincidentally, Crosley's book features essays about each of these subjects. Hatecrush alert! Let's compare and contrast:From Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake:
"Unlike other games of the day, which had me leaping through traffic or called me “gumshoe,” Oregon Trail left lots of room for creativity. It seemed ripe for the misuse. Like a precursor to the Sims, you were allowed to name your wagoneers and manipulate their destinies. It didn’t take me long to employ my powers for evil. I would load up the wagon with people I loathed, like my math teacher. Then I would intentionally lose the game, starving her or fording a river with her when I knew she was weak. The program would attempt an intervention, informing me that I had enough buffalo carcass for one day. One more lifeless caribou would make the wagon too heavy, endangering the lives of those inside. Really now? Then how about three more? How about four? Nothing could stop this huntress of the diminutive plains. It was time to level the playing field between me and the woman who called my differential equations “nonsensical” in front of fifteen other teenagers. Eventually a message would pop up in the middle of the screen, framed in a neat box: mrs.trust has died of dysentery. This filled me with glee.
...Your whole life is in flux and all you have is this moment. Are you sure you want to forge the river? Yes. Yes, you are."
"A precursor to the Sims (which I love and secretly play now) in Oregon Trail you had control over the characters. On the occasion of a particularly bad day, I would run down to the lab and load up my wagon with people that had pissed me off and purposely lose the game. Oh no! Lil’ Billy has two broken limbs and was carried away by Indians. Oh no! Poor Sarah died of dysentery. But that’s not the end to my evil ways. It got better. After poor Billy or Sarah bit the dust you are asked to write a dear, sweet epitaph on you fellow wagoneers tombstone...
...And when the game asked, are you sure you want to forge the river? I always replied Yes, I was."