What is 3rd World Farmer?
3rd World Farmer is a new kind of game. An experiment in the genre of Serious Games, it aims at simulating the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries.
In the game, the player gets to manage an African farm, and is soon confronted with the often difficult choices that poverty and conflict necessitate. We find this kind of experience efficient at making the issues relevant to people, because players tend to invests their hopes in a game character whose fate depends on him. We aim at making the player "experience" the injustices, rather than being told about them, so as to stimulate a deeper and more personal reflection on the topics.
We think the game has the potential to be an eye-opener to people who have become accustomed to the ordinary means of communicating third world desperation. Our aim is to have everybody play the game, reflect, discuss and act on it. The game is well suited to start off discussions about 3rd World issues, so we also encourage teachers to use it in their classes.
Although the current version of the game is finished and fully playable, we will continue developing the game, updating and adding new content so as to get as rich and well-nuanced a simulation as possible. We would like our forums to be a place where discussions arise and solutions to real-world problems are suggested.
The story behind 3rd World Farmer
The first prototype of the game was developed as a students' project at the IT-University in Copenhagen, Spring 2005. All initial participants were actively involved in shaping the original concept to a playable game. Actually, the very most of the game features have been discussed by the entire group until a fitting solution was agreed upon.
The positive evaluation and feedback from user testing inspired some of us to continue developing the game and to publish it online in its current version. Our work to shape the prototype into a fully playable game has so far involved meetings and correspondence with relief agencies and game professionals.
The release of November 23rd, 2006 was the result of extensive redesign based on feedback from people at our forums and elsewhere, managed and implemented by Frederik with some cool new graphics by Benjamin.
The latest release (November 2008) includes Spanish translation by Cristian Selman, implemented by Frederik.
Contributed by Patrick Bregger (98913) on Feb 14, 2010.