The inherent queerness of farming games -

CatParty

Boo
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net

Picture this: You wake up at 6 a.m. and eat eggs laid by your chickens. You step outside to tend to your sheep and alpacas and pet your dog. You water the turnips and harvest the cucumbers that hang lazily on their vines. You head to the forest to pick wild grapes and walk up the mountain—past the waterfall where the goddess is said to sleep—to the field where grapes are in season. You greet the carpenter as he sizes up the trees for lumber, and you pick wildflowers for the women in town. The doctor loves tinkering with new herbal tinctures, so you go to his office even when you’re not sick to give him some medicinal plants you found growing wild. You pick up some sugar from the local shop and grape juice from the local winery, and drop by the local bar for a pint of ale. You even have time to bake cookies in the evening, ready to fall into bed and do it all again the next day.

If any of this sounds appealing, you might want to check out a farming game. These games, at their core, revolve around growing plants and raising livestock to earn money. The germinal series, Story of Seasons, has been around since 1996, offering players the opportunity to scratch that agricultural itch through their screens. But while some farming games like Farming Simulator focus on the nitty-gritty of maximizing harvests and yields, Story of Seasons is much gentler. The farm is a conceit: It’s an excuse to drop the player into a picturesque rural community full of friendly faces.

And right now, there’s nothing queerer than moving to the middle of nowhere to commune with nature. Cottagecore, a trend that’s steadily gaining steam on social media, imagines a countryside aesthetic through a queer lens. It celebrates pastoral pastimes—keeping hens, foraging for mushrooms, tending to plants, baking endless loaves of sourdough—as a form of rebellion against urban capitalism. When actually running away from your stifling city apartment is impractical, farming games offer the same bucolic escape that cottagecore idolizes.

When Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Towncame out in July for the Nintendo Switch, that queerness was made explicit. For the first time in the series, you can romance male and female villagers regardless of your player character’s gender. The dialogue is even different between straight and queer romances. (And there has been some queerness in the series before: The Japan-only release of Harvest Moon DS: Cute in 2005, where you play as a woman, allows you to become “best friends” with some of the women in the village. They move in and raise children with you. This was cut from the 2008 Western releases, as the sheer gal-pal power ran afoul of censor restrictions on including same-sex content in all-ages games.)

At the same time, the cottagecore trend allows us to examine the countryside more critically. Rural communities have long been home to radical collective action: As Raechel Anne Jolie writes in her memoir, Rust Belt Femme, “working-class people are very good at taking care of one another because no one else will do it for us.” LGBTQ2 communities have this same resilience, but the societal perception of the countryside as a breeding ground for bigotry means queer people in real life can be wary of moving to rural spaces. Even as more queer folks move to farms, LGBTQ2 people can still feel invisible, unsafe or lonely. Cottagecore asks what it would look like for communities in the middle of nowhere to accept and uplift marginalized people; farming games answer that. You don’t have to fight. You can just live in a version of nature that’s safe and serene.

But it’s not just the dating and cottagecore vibes that make farming games queer. In almost every single title, your player character chooses to leave an unfulfilling city life in favour of pursuing a romantic idyll in the countryside. Stardew Valley, an indie farming game that has sold 10 million copies since its release in 2016, begins with you wasting away in a cubicle at Joja Corp. Your grandfather left you the deed to his old farm when he died, and one day you get so fed up that you just leave, deciding to pursue “real connections with other people and nature.”

Your character never speaks of your parents or the life you leave behind. Friends, lovers, student debt or shitty apartment leases—they all vanish. It’s a clean break, a physical manifestation of transition; you’re moving from living the life you were supposed to have to living the life you actually want. It’s diving headfirst into risk and starting a new life from scratch where people don’t know anything about you except that you’re new in town.

The steady rhythm of pastoral paradise is the lure of farming games—it’s the promise of a simple, soothing world where there are no monsters to kill or crimes to solve, just people to befriend and animals to raise. You save up money to buy a bigger farmhouse, bigger barns, more seeds for your ranch. You create relationships with people and, if you wish, can eventually get married and have kids—or not. Whereas the similarly cozy Animal Crossing forces you to play each day in real-world time, a farming game day typically takes 20 minutes. It’s easy to play another, and another, and another.

Stardew Valley also introduced “player-sexual” dating in farming games. Like the new Story of Seasons game, this means every dateable villager is bisexual and interested in the player character regardless of gender. Male player characters could date jock Alex and goth Sebastian as easily as female characters could romance shy Penny or tinkerer Maru. And there are no limits on how many people you can hook up with: Lani, my Stardew Valley farmer, simultaneously dated every single millennial in the village before finally settling down and adopting two children with Leah, a sculptor and fellow urban emigrant. Considering all the villagers are friends, and some of them siblings, they must have known they were getting involved in a sprawling web of queer non-monogamy… right?

And no matter what game you play, there’s the sense that people are living lives full of yearning—further queering the notion of countryside as a rural utopia. Stardew Valley has a soldier home to his wife, who regrets marrying him so young; the carpenter’s husband is struggling to raise his stepson; two sisters were left behind by their globe-trotting parents and don’t know when they’ll be back.

Even Story of Seasons, with its child-friendly world, features a couple whose daughter suddenly left, a “drifter” who spends all day praying for salvation and two small children primarily raised by single grandparents. There are only two nuclear families in the town, both of whom have lovely daughters you can woo; every other family has a notable absence, a dead father or wife, a husband gone with no word when he will return or—like you—a solo existence, defined by bonds over blood. The game genre prioritizes community the way queer people do. Found family trumps biology, for you and for so many of your fellow townsfolk.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from truly escaping to a farm. Queer farmers have been working hard for decades now to turn build communities dedicated to radical sustainability and rural supportiveness. But if you just want a taste of that life—where you can sell eggs, slowly romance local artisans and help your friends overcome existential sadness—then farming games are here, and queer.
 

Boris Blank's glass eye

And just for you I have a spoon
kiwifarms.net
So it's basically
Jerome Thompson - Pastoral.jpg
this, but for lazy and/or mentally ill millenials.

I wonder how many Central/Eastern European elderly people they asked if they liked toiling away at the fields starting from childhood.
 

Future Physical Violence

Sex has disappeared, but only for him.
kiwifarms.net
God I hate the word "queer"

I would like to point out that none of the games mentioned here except for farming simulator have any kind of depth to the farming whatsoever. Take the crops that work in the season, plant them, and water them. That's it. Crop rotation doesn't work, there really isn't any complexity to it at all. Some people probably prefer braindead simplicity but when these "queer" retards start thinking this shit is real and not just an incredibly simplified game for children is when you get things like the CHAZ cardboard farm where they think crops just grow without any effort.
 

Pretty Boy Extremism

Stationary Nigger
kiwifarms.net
God I hate the word "queer"

I would like to point out that none of the games mentioned here except for farming simulator have any kind of depth to the farming whatsoever. Take the crops that work in the season, plant them, and water them. That's it. Crop rotation doesn't work, there really isn't any complexity to it at all. Some people probably prefer braindead simplicity but when these "queer" retards start thinking this shit is real and not just an incredibly simplified game for children is when you get things like the CHAZ cardboard farm where they think crops just grow without any effort.
You know it's bad when Lords of the Realm had a more complex farming system than your queer farming game that's supposedly all about farming.
 

TowinKarz

I've been a wreck lately.
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
And yet, these same people wish places like Iowa would just disappear......


We've moved beyond "Noble Savage" ignorance, now the well-off of the nation believe in the "Noble Redneck" while simultaneously trying to genocide the real thing....

What's more American than tearing down Iowa so Disney can build "Farmland" Park and Resort on the same spot? And you can get the "authentic" farming experience, including real tractor rides and a cow petting zoo, for an easy-to-afford $1,200 a night? Plus comped drinks and room service if you buy in advance?!

Oh, and we at customer service are reviewing the security footage right now to find that employee you said had a spot of dirt on their overalls, you're right, that was very unprofessional of them, we're sorry it ruined the experience, they'll be disciplined as soon as we identify them.
 
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axfaxf

kiwifarms.net
we have a rather well-known dude with his own TV-show and he´s going all biodynamic and in pact with Mother Nature

quite entertaining content, but if it wasn´t for the show and the income it brings, his family would starve to death and in the meanwhile be in mountains of debt.

i cant wait for OP to be a thing, it will do wonders for real estate prices. :)
 

Screw Danlon

Please Be Patient, I Have Doggo
kiwifarms.net
God I hate the word "queer"

I would like to point out that none of the games mentioned here except for farming simulator have any kind of depth to the farming whatsoever. Take the crops that work in the season, plant them, and water them. That's it. Crop rotation doesn't work, there really isn't any complexity to it at all.
And on the flip side, there’s about as much depth to the social side as there is to the farming side - you get people to like you by giving them stuff every day. (Depending on the game) most people will say the same 1 or 2 different things to you each day per season. Everyone follows very specific routines that you have to account for.

I love the HM/Stardew games, they are fun and kinda relaxing. But they’re absolutely simplified, and if someone can only ‘be themselves’ in a world where people can do nothing but give 1 sentence canned responses? They can’t survive in the real world.
 

round robin

kiwifarms.net
This just feels like more propaganda to get faggot lefties to invade rural areas so they can spread their disease to the evil conservatives. Country life is not quaint and you *will* be working 18 hours a day just to survive.

I also love the part that says "queer people who purposefully move to rural areas feel invisible, unsafe, and lonely." No shit, you *chose* to leave the city and now you want to bring the city to you? Fuck off, we're full.
 

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