Why such a passion for agricultural simulators?

The beginning of the 2020s has become synonymous with all kinds of surprises: expect everything, from everywhere and in all areas of life. The gaming world is no exception. In November 2021, Steam sums up. This video game download platform publishes its monthly bestseller report. November 2021 – Exit Battlefield 2042 and for gamers, without a doubt: FPS will gather everything in its path.

Except no. Not everything went as planned. Surprisingly this is the latest version Farm Simulator (FS22), which occupies a leading position in the ranking. According Game industry, a video game website, the farming simulation sold 1.5 million copies in its first week. Online, the player count is just as staggering, with over 100,000 concurrent players at its peak. A real and frank success. In addition, other franchises are trying to break into the market. Farm Manager 2022, in particular, released last month. An opponent who, unlike FS22allows for organic farming. Like anything else, agricultural simulators can capture topical issues, combine business with pleasure and fascinate no less than football matches and other royal battles.

Follow the seasons, choose your farm and get closer to reality

Build your own farm and manage it daily, from A to Z. In a nutshell, that’s what these farm simulators are all about. In particular, the idea of ​​Giants, the publisher of the latest version Farm Simulator – the most successful at the moment is to immerse the player in the life of a farmer, a real one. From the introduction, we follow the daily life of a father and daughter who get up at dawn and talk about the hardships of the job. A cornfield in bad shape, hours of backbreaking, all for an uncertain outcome. Color Announced: It won’t be easy even in video games and we’ll have to be patient.

And then, quickly, a destination from three (fictitious) cities to choose from: Elmcreek in the US, Upper Beileron in France, or Erlengrat in the Alps. Each farm has its own specifics: cereals, vines or livestock. The same initial options are offered on Farm manager 2022, with just a large selection of crops or animals (bees, ostriches, quails, etc.). Then you need to choose the equipment (cultivators, plows, subsoilers, disc harrows or even rotary harrows), put on overalls and boots and go on an agricultural adventure.

Latest news for FS22 : each player will have to think, anticipate, work, save, store, hire (or not hire) their workers depending on the change of seasons, a variable that did not exist in previous versions. FS22 as well as farm manager getting closer and closer to reality, and that is where the success of these farming simulations lies.

Farm Simulatorsimulation more than life

In truth, the gaming world is no longer surprised by the success of farming simulations since 2011. Farm Simulator received the award as the best-selling game of the year. It peaked in 2014 with over 50 million copies distributed. It has since fizzled out before picking up steam in recent years, especially with the advent of co-op and multiplayer modes. But these new options do not explain everything. So what is the secret of this success?

A. K. Rakhming, site browser PC invasion. He is by far the one who best sums up the success of these farming simulations: “The monotony, boredom, time required to plow a field in a farming simulator gives you an idea of ​​what real farmers should do. » The creators of the game, Christian Ammann and Stefan Geiger, two Swiss who wanted to promote games in their (and therefore quiet) image, explain the phenomenon in the same way as Morning : “This is a game that soothes the spirit, while many others rely on frantic action. Players returning from school or work can thus relax behind the wheel of their tractor or rack their brains a little more to plan the development of crops in terms of economic simulation. »

This is also the explanation given by experts to say about the successAgricultureboard game using the same mechanics as Farm Simulator : Patience, Choice, Waiting, Difficulty, and Slowness are now traits for players. Especially when it comes to simulation. In other words: we go to a virtual farm not to escape to an imaginary, fictional and magical world, but to live a different life, just as hard, with all its advantages and disadvantages.

For modern gamers, the vicissitudes of farming (drought, fire, insect infestation) or a good harvest after years of hard work are as satisfying and challenging as landing in Normandy or delivering a princess. For A. K. Raming, this success may also be due to his regressive side. Selecting his farm machines from a range of hundreds of possibilities, admiring them, comparing them, planting seeds, watering them, hoping they grow, is to him like playing with tractors and dolls and doing our most secret deeds.

Farming simulators are getting more and more popular in the government

Whether it’s the slow, soothing or childish side, farming sims appeal to both city dwellers in need of greenery and rural dwellers who are interested in sims that are closer to their daily lives. LikeAnimal Crossingbelonging sims or even from flight simulator that deviate from the traditional video game, FS22 transforms the relationship to time and satisfies the need to disconnect from nature, to return to a simpler life, where a person is busy only with work in order to eat; a bubble of relaxation, almost hypnotic, an experience without instructions, not fixed, without a chrono, without a pre-written script, as close as possible to the reality of the farmers.

For beginners, this is also an opportunity to learn more about trading. No wonder the Ministry of Agriculture took up the topic when it came out FS22 in November 2021. An esports tournament was organized and streamed on Twitch for “to interest young people in agricultural careers”.

Moreover, this experience was accompanied by an IRL day. Minister of Agriculture and Food Julien Denormandy clarifies that this happened “on a real farm, with real trials (hitch and circuit, changing tractor wheels, loading straw bales, etc.) and surrounded by about thirty farmers who will be able to convey their passion for their profession.” For the government, these farming simulators are a gift. They serve as a vector for discussing the agroecological transition with the youngest.

Other board games such as Rami Fourrage, Mission Ecophyt’eau, Ruralis, La Grange or Roots of tomorrow, a free video game, aims to seize power. Available to schools and the general public, they allow discussion and open debate on ideas outside the world of agriculture to find solutions for tomorrow. Specialized youtubers like Stervio or Jean-Paul Hebrard from acceleration, a program on agriculture, is also there with their seeds. In short, farming simulations are not over yet.