3rd World Farmer

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I found another interesting (and free!) hunger-related game on the Internet. It’s called 3rd World Farmer. It’s not particularly new, so you socially-minded gamers out there are probably rolling your eyes at this post. But as one who doesn’t find the time to hang in the gaming world, I’m enjoying this discovery.

Well, maybe enjoying isn’t the right word. The game simulates life for a family of African farmers. You make decisions about what crops to plant, equipment or livestock to buy, whether to pay for school and medicines, etc. Then you’re told how your decisions turned out. Armed with that information, you tally up your household’s money, equipment, and health, and you make new decisions for the next year. On the whole, there’s lots of bad news and it’s kind of frustrating. Yet I found I wanted to keep trying. Hope springs eternal, after all.

I learned about the game on gamepolitics blog, and as the author wrote, “It’s not fair and it’s not fun but perhaps that is the point.” The creators (university students in Copenhagen) suggest using it to start discussions, and I can easily see how it could! They also suggest using it to spur action. I think it could do that, too.