The Oregon Trail Teaches Us About Vaccines

“Violent video games are an ideal environment in which to learn violence.” – Donaldo Pereira Macedo

I was reading this article by Laura Turner Garrison, which discusses the current state of the diseases that killed you off when you played the video game Oregon Trail. In the US, two of the five diseases, diphtheria and measles, have been eradicated by a vaccination. Unfortunately, they are still prevalent in the developing world and thus unvaccinated people in the US are still susceptible.

I’ve been clear on my opinionof those who don’t vaccinate their children. Vaccines work by immunizing the “herd.” There are a number of people (infants, the eldery, the immunocompromised) who cannot be vaccinated and they depend on the rest of us to maintain immunity so they don’t get sick.

If you don’t vaccinate your kids, you should at least make them play Oregon Trail so they can learn what diseases they can die from. Or at least what diseases they can suffer from and then pass on to their infant sibling or the kid down the street with Leukemia to let them die from.