A Japanese company has launched a new video game that is a cross between Farmville and a CSA account: players grow crops on their computer screens, and then farmers deliver the real-life goods to their doors.
According to Rocket News 24, the new game by Japanese startup Telefarm is offering a virtual "remote farm" that gamers can use to grow their own, real-life food. It’s a farm simulator, sort of like Farmville, in which players pay 500 yen, or about $4.50, per square meter of farmland each month and 500 yen for each pack of seeds they want to sow. There are a variety of different plant options, including greens, sweet potatoes, watermelons, soybeans, and more.
The player plants the seeds and hoes, waters, and fertilizes his or her virtual crops while meanwhile, a farmer in the real world is basically doing the same thing to some real plants in the player’s name. There are fictional blights for gamers to battle, like plant diseases or infestations of plant-eating insects, and handling those well results in rewards for the gamer even though they presumably do not happen in real life.
The real-life farmers will not be following destructive orders by gamers who forget to update their virtual farms or destroy crops on purpose, but those gamers who successfully raise plants in the game will receive their fresh, farm-grown produce delivered to their doors. Spare produce can also be sold to other players on the game’s real-life vegetable marketplace.