A new free online farm safety game that children can play on smartphones, computers and tablets is the latest innovation in the quest to improve farm safety.
InGame worked with industry body DairyNZ, WorkSafe and ACC to create Farm Rules!, an engaging way for primary school children to learn about the risks involved with certain farm activities and how to minimise or avoid them. Agriculture is one of the highest risk industries in New Zealand, and quad bikes are one of our deadliest hazards.
Farm Rules! has children avoiding surprise dangers while tackling the challenges of farm life. From driving tractors and avoiding cow pats, players learn how to navigate through challenges to win the most points. With bright graphics and plenty of sneaky scenarios, players can become a farmer for a day moving cows, driving quad bikes and tractors, fixing broken fences and spraying gorse. They have to try do all the farm work while avoiding surprise dangers.
The computer game is being rolled out as part of DairyNZ’s education programme for children.
DairyNZ’s brand marketing manager, Andrew Fraser, says he thinks the new game will encourage some interesting conversations between kids and their parents.
“We all know how our children very quickly challenge us based on what they have learnt or seen. Children do a lot of their learning online now and games are a great way of interacting with them about various issues. We think we’ll reach a lot of adults with a game like this in a roundabout kind of way. It will certainly raise awareness and create situations where the kids are advising their parents about what’s a risk and how to stay safe on a farm,” he says. “It’s also a great way to entertain your kids while helping them learn about how to stay safe on a farm,” he says.
Rosie is the cow character DairyNZ uses to help children learn about farming, cows and how milk is produced.
The app, available for iPhones and iPads, Android phones and the Rosie’s World website, proved popular. During 2016:
- 25,600 unique users played the game 95,000 times (returning to play 3.7 times on average)
- For 13:24 minutes each time on average
- For a total of 49:40 minutes play time per player on average. This exceeds our target of 30 minutes per player.
- The majority of users came from New Zealand
In particular, during Term Four 2015 there was consistent usage during weekdays, showing great uptake in classroom educational programmes.
Players were split between Android (34%), iOS (32%), PC Web (28%) and Mac Web (6%) platforms.
2,047,7000 virtual hazards were encountered by players. These acted as safe learning opportunities for players to experience the consequences of hazards and then practice behaviours to avoid them in future:
- 933,800 virtual quad bike collisions with cowpats
- 354,400 virtual quad bike collisions with fences and obstacles
- 221,056 virtual quad bike rolling accidents
- 212,300 virtual flying debris from a tractor accidents