"The Development of Rural Areas"

A description of the game

Agriculture is much more than deciding what crop to plant and when. It is a world filled with complexities and a wide array of economic, social, and environmental concerns and relationships. In short, it is a world of decisions and consequences.

The game was developed to help students, scholars local government officials, community groups, agency personnel, or conservation districts to learn about agricultural land-use issues. Through 20 years of farming and policy making, participants experience the economic, environmental and social consequences of their decisions.

The game is built around a simulation model that mimics the way humans interact with each other and with the physical environment. Simulations are used in many business and education settings to explore the workings of complex systems and to anticipate impacts of system manipulation.

In the game people try to improve their well-being by choosing from among actions, subject to their opportunities and constraints. Farmers select land use practices in order to increase net family income, subject to the physical, economic, and legal setting within which they operate. Policy makers select payments, taxes, and regulations subject to the council's fiscal capacity, the expected outcomes of the desired practices, and the physical conditions of the land and water environment.

All players seek to establish and maintain a pattern of farmland management that leads to desired levels of farm income, water quality, and environmental health. The policies that the council adjusts can be thought of as those parts of the legal and economic environment that influences the farmland management choices of farmers.

Following the game, a "debriefing" provides opportunity for rich group discussion about problems and events that occurred and factors that were responsible for them; the extent to which these occur in real life situations; changes that could have been made which might have avoided or solved the most serious problems. 

TOP OF THE PAGE tridown.jpg (355 bytes) SEARCH       SITE MAP       CONTACT US       WEBMASTER