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Reality check: Only those with brains make it

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By The Staff

By KELLIE ETHERIDGE

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Turret Staff Writer

Most people familiar with the computer game, “The Oregon Trail,” can remember spending time trying to conquer the various trials and tribulations experienced by pioneers attempting to move west. Your oxen get stuck in the mud, the delay sets you back two days. You lose five points—or something similar—with the goal of trying to make it to Oregon alive.

Survivor Jamestown brings the same concept to life.

The Survivor Jamestown exhibit lets visitors to the Frazier International History Museum in Louisville experience what life was like for the first settlers who colonized Jamestown, Va., in 1607.

“As a Jamestown colonist, visitors choose a life chart with the characteristics and history of an actual colonist. They will navigate an extensive maze and use their chart to track the impact of the choices made in four crucial categories—health, wealth, morale, and food,” explained Mark Zanni, the director of Marketing for Frazier International History Museum on West Main Street in downtown Louisville. 

Visitors use their life charts, which are actually abacuses, to keep track of how many points they gain or lose depending on the choices made while navigating the maze.

What foods will you eat?

Which type of water is safest to drink?

Do you befriend the Indians or make them your enemy?

Watch out for the Wheel of Misfortune, where one wrong spin can mean life or death.

There are also various obstacles to overcome, like climbing a 12-foot rock wall, or crossing the river on a zip line, and even lassoing a sturgeon for food.

The exhibit is a hands-on experience where participants not only see, but can touch, smell, climb, make choices, and maneuver their way through to the end.

Located at 829 West Main St. Louisville, The Frazier Museum offers an informative and visual history describing the birth of America from its beginning in medieval England. Entrance to the Survivor Jamestown exhibit is free with paid admission to the museum. The exhibit runs through Sept. 5.

Parking is available off 9th Street, right behind the museum and costs only $2 for up to four hours and $4 for more than four hours. For more information, visit www.fraziermuseum.org or call (502) 412-2280.