ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got no primary production experience at all; it doesn’t matter if you’ve got 50 years under your belt.

The final obstacle to beating the hotly anticipated video game, Farming Simulator 18, will be a challenge to all that reach it.

It’s not stagnant wool prices or a kneejerk Labor snap ban on live export, nor is it flooding rains or a backpacker driving an uninsured header into a tree stump.

It’s El Niño.

Exacerbated by rapid climate change and global warming, the natural ocean cycle can often be the final nail in the coffin for many struggling farmers – which is why the game’s developers chose it as the ultimate challenge.

Speaking to The Advocate regarding the release, lead programmer Gresham Rasmussen, said that the final challenge of El Niño comes after a number of very challenging circumstances the player must overcome to beat the game.

“We’ve included a range of different things to challenge the player, both on and off the farmer,” he said.

“For example, if you have a child that’s not that bright or good at sport, you can expect to pay full tuition and boarding at a private school, which can start at around $25k for a subpar regional institution,”

“And then there’s all the other exciting parts of farming like workmen wrecking and losing gear and hiding from the Australian Tax Office. There’s even the option to visit an accountants office in-game and just let out swear words. None the less, the ultimate challenge comes in the form of zero rainfall.”

However, one local grazier told our reporters that he thinks the game is ‘bullshit’ and a ‘poor portrayal of primary producers.’

Jack Pearson, of the E.H. Pearson Cattle Company just outside the Betoota City Limits, explained that there’s a lot more to raising cattle than pushing a bunch of buttons.

“I bet they don’t have the option of poking about in a clapped out old Fergie spraying cotton bush,” he said.

“Which is what I used to do as a young fella around here. And I reckon you wouldn’t be able to flog a dough-banging ringer about the arse with a waddy, either. Then there’s the issue of how rough jackaroos are with gear. Cost me thousands it does,”

“The only use I could get out of this game is taking the CD out of the case and frisbeeing the wookatook thing into a creek.”

More to come.


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