I know, I know. I can feel the heat from a hundred burning questions of “WHY?”.
The answer is actually pretty simple. I bought Farming Simulator 2011 for the lulz.
If you use Steam frequently, you would remember the “holiday coupons” that millions of
people achievement whored over. If not, here’s a quick low-down:
Valve released several “challenges” every day over a period of time parallel to the
Christmas – New Year’s area. Each of these challenges would reward you with one
of three things: A game (lucky bastard), a coupon, or a piece of coal that could be
combined with more coal and crafted into something else.
I ended up with a 50% off coupon for Farming Simulator 2011, and I laughed all the way
to the “confirm purchase” button. Heck, I laughed all the way through the tutorials. Turns
out driving a tractor is more difficult than it looks. Thing handles like a dream, though.
Okay, so I didn’t just buy it for the lulz. I was dying to know why other people bought
and played it. A good chunk, if not a large majority, of the current playerbase doesn’t
share my motivation. I hopped on to several multiplayer servers (yes, people play this
game cooperatively) and drilled a handful of players on why they enjoyed a game that
could very well be labeled a gaming laughingstock. I knew there had to be a legitimate
As I quickly discovered, there were several. Quite a few people who play Farming
Simulator are… hold on to your hats here… farmers. That’s right, people who could draw
parallels from the game to their professional reality found it entertaining. Admittedly, I
am still puzzled by the idea that someone who runs a farm in real life would want to run
a farm in their free time, though I suppose it could be justified through the use of various
pieces of industrial equipment that perhaps the gaming farmers wouldn’t normally get to
I was also told by many players that they found the game to be both a valid challenge
and a relaxing experience. I can personally attest to the task of sowing a field
possessing a somewhat zen aspect. It simply requires that you have the right mindset
to enjoy the activity. In the end, Farming Simulator 2011 did exactly what it set out
to accomplish (that is, simulate farming), and it did so both smoothly and with quality
execution. Are there still plenty of ways to make fun of the game? Of course. Give me
time, though – I could find plenty of loopholes in the logic of Mass Effect, Call of Duty,
Have you ever played a game that took you by surprise in such a fashion? Let us know in the comments!