Oregon Trail Turns Into… Speed Dating?

from the you-have-died-of-dysentery dept

Well, this seems like an incredibly bad idea. Apparently a company called SpeedDate that does (you guessed it) online speed dating has purchased the rights to the Facebook application Oregon Trail. Now, if you’re of a certain age (and a computer geek) you probably remember Oregon Trail as an awesome game from the 80s (“you have died of dysentery”). I’m sure plenty of nostalgic folks installed Oregon Trail and had fun dying repeatedly of dysentery, but apparently SpeedDate didn’t buy the rights to Oregon Trail to let people play Oregon Trail, but as a sort of trojan, by which they plan to replace everyone’s install of Oregon Trail with their own SpeedDate Facebook app. The SpeedDate guys claim that there’s a more popular Oregon Trail game (called Northwest Trail), but it still seems rather sleazy to take an app that people installed and swap it out for something entirely different.

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Comments on “Oregon Trail Turns Into… Speed Dating?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Do these companies really think this makes a good business model?

No, they’re just trolling for that one stupid user in 1000 that will go “Wow! Cool!” I’m sure all the happily involved folks who just happen to have Oregon Trail installed, because they liked the game Oregon Trail, will be thrilled to find that it’s now an online dating application.

This behavior is explained perfectly by Hanlon’s razor:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

And remember, you can’t fix stupid.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: They received warning

I received no warning when Techdirt turned into a steaming pile of gossip blog.

Well, of course, we’re neither a gossip blog, nor have we changed, but you knew that.

Paul, for a while now, you’ve been coming to this site and posting angry, often ill-informed, rants against Techdirt. There is a simple solution: stop reading it.

What did we do to you that makes you so angry that you must constantly post angry and incorrect rants against us?

Cameron says:

Re: They received warning

Who sent you here with the inflated expectations?

As I try to understand your mental capabilities, I imagine your IQ around room temperature, maybe short– 4’7″ and possibly someone drives you around and you don’t have the mental capacity to get around from one place to another by yourself.

So to save face, I will take my anger out on the person who sent you here with inflated expectations. Give me a name, and I’ll kick them in the nuts, and invite you to watch.

PaulT (profile) says:

This happened a while back to another app I had installed, same company was involved – though I don’t remember the name, the old app was something very different.

IMHO, it’s not a big deal unless you were really attached to the old app for some reason. This isn’t Facebook doing the changes, and the private companies/individuals involved can do whatever they want, just as you’re free to remove the app if you don’t like it.

Brad says:

It's kinda like the Safari trojan

I’d bet this is going to happen RIGHT BEFORE they announce some sale, deal, or other public financial transaction. Then they’ll be able to say “Our facebook app has over 50,000 users!” even if it’s only true for about 5 days.

Like remember when there was that huge spike in Safari for Windows users announced with 2Q earnings? Turned out it was because Apple had used iTunes to install a new browser and set it as a system default without asking the user. Next time they opened up a web browser they got sent to Apple.com and registered a “new windows user with Safari” hit.

margret says:

Mass media both reflected and informed many people about the Gold Rush. In document 1, the people who read this article became informed about the gold mine that was found “in the newly made raceway of the Saw Mill recently erected by Captain Sutter.” This document also reflected on the journeys of some 49er’s to California. This document says that one miner brought $30 worth of gold back with him to his home.


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