“What type of game do you like?”

I’m sure the question has been asked my way at some point in the past. But I never knew the answer to that question. Shooting games were invigorating, causing the heart to pulsate at an elevated rate. But I was always the worst at them; I had friends who were so good, they received sponsorship from gaming companies as well as a truck load of free gear to play with.

Racing games, like Mario Kart, were more my speed. These games were obtainable, allowing the myriad of gaming skill levels to jump on board and play. Eventually, players reached a similar level of skill, which rendered the game more competitive and thus, more entertaining.

However, with any game that entered my life, I eventually slowed my play time due to the it took to complete the other tasks in my life. Gaming never reached the same level of importance as my other interests, and what was once a regular weekday occurrence became an infrequent waste of time, a method of winding down a summer afternoon.

That isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy games, nor am I ignorant of their importance. Upon playing the farm game in class today, I was quickly pulled into a world I empathized with on a different level. I love farming, the rush of natural forces consuming my veins, the trickle of sweat slowly making its way down my face. The agrarian lifestyle brings me life, and was I was playing the game I started to understand farming as more than just a lifestyle. It too contains components of a game.

I played for about 20 minutes — enough time before my interest dwindled. I’ll take the lessons from the game back to the farm I volunteer on. Fair Weather Farm, an organic farm in Elkton, Maryland, now has more depth and intrigue than the formalities of weed pulling and tomato harvesting. It’s an investment into gaming, a constant inner monologue playing out between the farmer and her fields.

What should be planted first? How do I feel the animals? Is all of this economically viable? Will some aspects of the farm suffer if they don’t receive enough attention?

Questions now swirl in my head. I look forward to the time I will spent with Nancy Bentley and her farm. It’s probably my favorite game I’ve ever played.

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