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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Third World Farmer

"A game to make you think," Third World Farmer is an economic simulation where you take the role of a third-world family struggling to survive droughts, civil war and economic collapse. Like September 12th, it's a game that makes a political statement by drawing you into a cycle of frustration. I made it through 122 rounds of this game (yes, I'm bored) and didn't make it on to the high score list.

I'm still confounded by the logic of the game. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that events coincide with my assets a little too frequently (though on the forum, the creators have said that this isn't the case).

First I tried tracking the prices of the different crops with an eye towards buying low and selling high. This is what the price ranges look like:

CropLowHigh
Corn$5$13
Wheat$8$20
Cotton$15$23
Peanuts$19$21
But always buying low didn't seem to make a difference. Diversification is key, so that if the peanut harvest fails, you still have corn to fall back on. Pigs and cows seem to produce well, but you need to build a shed first, and this has a habit of being destroyed by local guerillas and being sold to pay for medicine.

It also seems that there's a cap on how much you can earn. No matter what, I couldn't pull in more than $250 in a single year.

Anyway, the game's an interesting distraction and worth taking a look at, if for no other reason than to have a bit of perspective on the plight of the third world farmer.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.