Elephants are the most expensive animals in 3rd World Farmer, but they also produce the highest annual revenue for the farmer family.
Game Design Note: When designing the first prototype of 3rd World Farmer, we decided to include elephants in the game because the game graphics started to represent an African setting, and because elephants are just awesome animals.
We actually wanted graphics that were neutral and might as well represent a developing country in any other part of the world, such as Eastern Europe or Asia, but that was quite impossible to accomplish.
At this stage in the development, we were also focusing on the dark satire aspect of the game (you try to run a farm, and everything that can go wrong, does go wrong) so adding elements that were a bit humorous or a bit off the mark did seem quite appropriate.
This can also be seen as a sort of Brechtian distancing effect, where the addition of odd or noisy elements awakens the player from identifying too much with the portrayed characters and events, so they may still be conscious and critical of the fiction. We’re not interested in brain-washing people into feeling sorry for third world farmers, just in introducing some of the truly complex and puzzling problems surrounding these issues and arousing the players’ genuine curiosity.
While the game can have an emotional impact, which serves to motivate people to learn more about the real-world issues, properly identifying and solving those problems will require just as much levelheadedness and critical distance.
So, in short: We are aware that elephants are not typical farm animals, except perhaps for Asian Elephants, that are sometimes still used for forestry and farming. The impracticality is also symbolized by the concept of “White Elephant Projects” that sometimes surfaces in discussions about foreign aid.
Elephants can be sold again from the sell menu.
The Elephant Poachers event will cause the player to lose all elephants.
The Civil War event causes the player to lose approximately 75% of his livestock.
“Burning chilis drive elephants away from African farmers crops,” Thin Lei Win, Reuters, 2017:
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