Online games can portray a sense of real life, but how real is it really? A popular game on Facebook called Farmville gives players a chance to take care of their own farm and become farmers in a way. Players don’t need to know anything about farming to play or even become successful in this game. Unlike real life, there are no chances of bad weather, no chances of animals dying, no chances of crops dying, and no chances of going bankrupt. When I played the game I had left multiple crops un-watered and animals unfed. Both the crops and the animals did not die. In the game players don’t have to worry about roll cropping because the soil never loses its nutrients. Each time you level up in the game you can earn power ups like more money or more supplies for the farm giving the game an unrealistic feel.
On the other hand there are a lot of aspects that are based on real life. The appearance of the farm is what you would expect. There is a small amount of land, a few animals, and a few plots for crops. Thee farm in this game is more based on growing crops to feed animals than a dairy farm or a meat farm. Unlike what you actually might see, the game has a “market stand” right in front of the farm while farmers now sell most of their products to the government that end up in our grocery stores. A common theme that I kept coming across was managing my inventory. As a farmer, one has to make a plan of what they have, how long the choice will take, and what type of farmer they want to be. This game seemed real because when you grew crops they weren’t ready to be harvested right away. Some crops took longer than others. Players were expected to plant the crops, water the crops, and harvest them. I kept making the mistake of “putting all my eggs in one basket”. Whenever I had plenty of supplies I would use them up right away to try to get tasks done faster but then I would be stuck until the crops were ready to be harvested or wait to have enough water. I am a very impatient person, so this was the hardest part for me. Just like in real life, there was always things to do. After you accomplish a set of goals in the game there were always more right around the corner. In real life, a farmer doesn’t get a day off. The farmer has to always work to feed the animals and sell the crops to make money. I enjoyed how the game offered many different ways of earning money like you would in real life. From the animals you can gain products like milk and eggs and from the crops you can sell them as is or make pastries to sell. Players act like farmers in the sense of making choices of what to use what products for. In the game you are the only one working. If there are a lot that needs to get done, you can hire help for money. This is true in the real world. Farmers will do the work all themselves but the moment it gets too much they will hire help they can afford. With more experience you got in the game, you then had the option to expand the farm. At the end of the day while not every game is going to be reality, I think that Farmville has a lot of aspects that resemble real life farming.