In recent times gamification has been used to learn new skills, however I always thought improving knowledge of Agriculture in Africa using gamification is not possible until I played the Farm Defenders game. The Farm Defender is a 3D farm simulation game spanning the entire continent of Africa that lets you create farms in every environment, from the lush tropics to the barren deserts. Grow your crops and become wealthy all while preventing disease, pests, and maximizing yield using real-life African farming techniques sustainably.
The Farm Defenders is an initiative to “gamify” economic development in Africa by realistically simulating local conditions. The simulation is realistic to the details of the local soil type, weather, and natural challenges and is not your typical farming simulation video game.
Here’s a synopsis from the Farm Defenders website:
“This game was specifically created for people who want to pursue careers in economic development (and people who like challenging strategy simulations). The bottom of the “income pyramid” represents some 1 billion of the world’s poorest persons making a living from subsistence agriculture. If we think of small farms as micro-enterprises, then smallholder farmers are entrepreneurs facing some of the world’s worst business conditions. One key to poverty alleviation is increasing the profitability of small agricultural enterprises. If you want to help the world’s poorest citizens, and you cannot beat this game, you are probably not qualified for the job! Do you want to become qualified? Then beat the game!”
Playing the Game was fun in Rwanda 🙂
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 in Africa struggle, and why many people especially the youth are choosing something easier these days.
It’s free to download, the beta version has been released and the Mac version is TBA.