Play FarmVille (for Real) in the UK: God Save the Crops

Attention, online agriculturalists: Good news! All those hours of FarmVille, the social networking game (which has more than 62 million active users) may finally pay off, by allowing you the opportunity to take care of a real farm with real animals (that actually die!) and no "instant grow" option for crops -- all from the comfort of your own home!


It's true. In an effort to help folks reconnect with "where their food comes from," The U.K.'s National Trust is launching MyFarm, a project inspired by the popular online game that will allow up to 10,000 individuals to control almost every aspect of a 2,500-acre working farm in Cambridgeshire, England.

Think you could do it? Get the for-real farm scoop (and a handy map!) after the jump.

For a onetime fee of $48 (sorry, no gold coins), MyFarm "farmers" will get to vote on all major decisions -- from what crops to grow to what bulls to buy to what machinery to use. There will be one big vote each month, but some decisions could trigger more frequent votes, like "bread-making wheat or biscuit wheat?"

Information for the agriculturally ignorant is made available on the MyFarm website through videos, discussions, and posts from on-site farmers. To make things easier, participants are given a list of choices for each decision versus just deciding on what to do.

Restrictions? Duh. While farm manager Richard Morris told The Guardian he'd plant whatever the online farmers wanted to grow. He also said, "The online farmers will not be able to choose to grow cannabis or bananas, but undoubtedly there will be some strange decisions, some decisions I would not have made." What say you, FarmVille fans? Will MyFarm be able to keep online farmers engaged with crops that take over a few hours to grow, the harsh realities of Mother Nature, or (yipes!) accidentally killing a cow? Let us know in the comments.

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