Welcome to the 3rd World Farmer Manual

Since the first release of 3rd World Farmer in 2005, the game has continued to inspire new players. It is now being used by teachers in classrooms around the world. That has motivated us to create this online manual, which we hope will serve both teachers and players by offering hints, instructions and teaching resources related to the game. We also hope that the manual will prove useful for academics, journalists, game designers, players – and everybody else who’s interested in learning more about 3rd World Farmer and the topics it introduces.

The manual is an online resource with many sections and subpages. Here’s a brief outline of the content of each section.

  1. How To Play
  2. Game Concepts & Content
  3. For Educators
  4. Academics & Game Designers
  5. For the Press

How to Play

While 3rd World Farmer is easy to play for most people, the How to play page is a guided step-by-step introduction to playing the game. This is mostly useful for teachers presenting the game in class. However, it can also be an interesting read in its own right for casual players, who might discover extra features or learn new details.

Game Concepts & Content

In the Game Concepts section, we’ve explained core concepts from the game in greater detail. So if you’re wondering what stats like health or education mean, or are unsure about a certain number on the game’s annual report, this is your go-to reference.

Similarly, the Game Content section describes all crops, animals, tools, buildings, projects, and special events that occur in 3rd World Farmer. Since not all of these come into play during a single game session, this section serves to give teachers a bird’s-eye view of the range of topics introduced. It can also be very useful for students, since each subpage contains links to external articles about its topic. So not only are the game mechanics of all types of game content described. A larger context and a starting point for students’ own further research is provided.

Some of the pages also contain game design notes which highlight interesting aspects of designing the simulation.

For Educators

3rd World Farmer has been used in so many different contexts – on entertainment game portals, in science museums, on curated lists of educational games, for foreign aid workers training, for English language training in Japanese girls’ schools, in teaching history, geography, social sciences, global studies, game design, political science, economy and more. Instead of writing a single teacher’s guide directed at a particular teaching situation, we will try to maintain a list. It will contain guides, lesson plans, and ideas for activities publicly shared by actual teachers using the game in their own classes. This will be found on the For Educators subpage.

For Academics & Game Designers

Our page for Academics & Game Designers will link to selected books and academic articles that mention 3rd World Farmer. If you’re interested in the science behind developing serious games, or about to include 3rd World Farmer in your own research, this is the place to look.


Our Presskit page contains handy resources for journalists and bloggers. Get our contact info, a brief game description, screenshot images, game logos + zips, and links to selected articles.

Translations of the 3rd World Farmer Manual

A full Spanish translation of this online manual is freely available in PDF format. It is provided courtesy of Marco Tulio Bustos Gutiérrez from Universidad Católica de Temuco in Chile.

Download it here:

Any future translations of the Manual will be listed here. Feel free to get in touch if you want to contribute to new translations of the 3rd World Farmer Manual or of the game itself.