International Harvester: The Ozofarm Game

Today sees the official release of the Ozofarm game and game development competition for Queensland’s public libraries.

As I discovered on my visit out to the cotton fields of the Darling Downs, digital technology is changing the way we farm. Cows are milked in robotic dairies. Drones are herding and surveying cattle from the skies. Self-driving machines are steering across Queensland’s fields, tending crops and baling cotton.

I worked with Eva Ruggiero and Tammy Morley of the State Library’s Regional and Public Libraries Team to devise a game which explored robotics in agriculture.

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Our game uses small robots called Ozobots, pretending they are futuristic farming machines tasked with planting seeds across a field. Players use cards to determine special abilities or challenges for their farm robot. The Ozofarm rules and playing board are free to download from the State Library website.

We wanted to go further, though. This isn’t about us having all the bright ideas – the library’s role is to inspire creativity and freedom of thought.

So we teamed up with the firm Education Technology Specialists to offer a prize for the library which comes up with the best variant, improvement, or new version of the Ozofarm game.

That could mean making the game more sophisticated or more beautiful, more technically accurate about the details of farming or simply more fun to play.

We want communities across Queensland, via their public library, to steer our game in new and exciting directions.

Download the game materials and read more about the competition at the State Library of Queensland website. You can also check out our scrub turkey game, designed with Griffith University, and our remixable comic maker. They can both also be adapted and reimagined by players who download them.

 

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