A Hyperrealistic Farmville To Train The World’s Farmers
Monday, June 3, 2013
Running a farm is complicated. You need to choose crops, manage the soil, and get your harvest to market. You have to cope with the weather, diseases, and various pests. You have to compete, or collaborate, with other farmers doing the same thing. And so on. It’s no wonder, really, that many farmers struggle, and why many people are choosing something easier these days.
To appreciate the complexity of agriculture, take a look at a new simulation game calledFarm Defenders. Developed to train extension workers–government consultants who spread knowledge in the countryside–it covers hundreds of aspects of running a farm, and in a highly realistic way. All the data–soil conditions, climate, commodity prices, and so on–is live, and accurate to a village level (the weather information, for example, changes every 15 minutes). As a player, you get a small virtual budget. Then you have to fend for yourself.