Posted on Thursday, February 5th, 2015 by Will Hagle
The Family Farmer is an interactive documentary game that challenges visitors to create and manage their own virtual farm, raising awareness about the large and small issues specific to family farms.
The Family Farmer is the interactive game portion of a documentary film that presents you with a series of choices along the path of creating and managing your own virtual farm. The site begins by asking your age and gender, and includes some facts about the farming profession that relate to your selections. The site includes information like the fact that the farming profession is struggling to attract young people. Less than 10% of farms, for instance, are run by someone under 40 (as compared to 25% 20 years ago). The game then begins by having users select either a new farm or an established farm. Each time you make a choice (age, gender, type of farm), the website relays a bit of information and leads you to the next step.
After all of your selections are made, The Family Farmer plays out like a virtual board game. There are 14 rounds, and each round begins with a spin of a wheel and another choice (what type of fertilizer to use, how to deal with various problems that arise, etc.). As the game progresses, your choices impact your sustainability and happiness scores, as well as your bank account and workload. It’s a simply-designed game with basic mechanics, but it offers an enjoyable way to learn more about farming and the many choices and problems that farmers face. The game, of course, was built to accompany the documentary film of the same name. The site features additional information about credits and upcoming screenings.