When I met with Professor Andelson last week, I mentioned to him our plan to make a "Sim-esque" simulation, and he lent me his copy of SimFarm. I've been playing around with it and it's pretty neat. It's not a whole lot like what I've envisioned our game to be, but it's probably closer than SimCity or other such games. In this game, you are given an empty plot of land to begin with. It's your job to buy whatever seeds/equipment/chemicals, etc. you want and try to make a productive farm. You can choose the type of farm that you have, as well as the what markets you sell your crops in. You also have to watch out for droughts, changing markets, and other occurrences.
It can be played without the CD, by the way, so if you're interested in checking it out, we can put it on your computer when I next go to Fairfield.
We have two primary goals for this project during Jelal's time here as our summer intern:
I knew we were going to be okay finding kindred spirits in the local food economy space. We are, afterall, in the historical agricultural heatland of the United States. I did not expect, however, to find a world class theoretical and applied research scientist in the rather specialized domain of agent-based economic simulation.
Wow, were we happy to learn about Leigh Tesfatsion! Leigh is Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Iowa State University in Ames. Here's how she describes her current research interests:
And here are links to a her current work that is spot on relevant to our project:
I can't wait to arrange a field trip to Ames so Timlynn and I can take Jelal along with us to meet our Community Capitals Framework friends at the ISU-based North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) and get the local food researchers there together with Leigh Tesfatsion! What fun we have ahead.