My Farm Experiment: The Real-Life Version of Farmville

FarmVille. Everyone I know who started playing this game seems so addicted to it… which is why I planned to not get started on it. It’s like the unisex version of World of Warcraft – only instead of just the boyfriend neglecting his girlfriend, both are now ignoring each other. Waiting for their plants to harvest. Adopting and taking care of their sheep. And ram. And whatnot. Anyway whatever it is that you really do in FarmVille, there’s obviously something about it that keeps people coming back for more.

I guess someone took this attraction to the next level, because instead of just the option of playing FarmVille on your computer, you can now play it… In real life.

My Farm Experiment recently started in the UK, on the Wimpole Estate owned by the National Trust, a British charity. It is in no way affliated with Zynga. My Farm Experiment lets people “own” their farm and actually run it with farm manager Richard Morris. The thing is however, it’s not free.  You have to pay about US$49 to become a virtual farmer. The payment of course goes to the National Trust.
John Alexander, the project manager of the My Farm Experiment said that FarmVille was the inspiration for starting it. Coincidentaly, in March Zynga launched an English Countryside extension of the game.

You might be thinking, “lol whut I won’t be paying 49 bucks to get dirt on my hands this is stupid.” Don’t worry, the 10,000 people who already paid won’t have to do anything too physical. All they will have to do is to vote (starting on May 26 which you can watch live) on issues related to running the farm. This includes the type of crops, livestock, environmental impacts, etc. In the meantime they are encouraging members to converse with one another to plan and discuss the issues with one another.

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