Interdisciplinary action-research project on natural resources in central Africa

IntroductionIntroduction

Land Rush is a game that simulates the complex reality of access to, and management of, natural resources in developing countries.

Over the past decade, developing countries have experienced an increased process of commercialisation of natural resources, and especially of land. This has lately been framed as the process of land grabbing: the acquisition of land by private and/or public investors with the aim of producing food crops, crops for biofuels or to provide land for growing urban areas. Next to foreign investors, local elites and influential groups may also join the scramble for land and natural resources. However, this does not have the same effects on everyone! Rural dwellers in Africa, Asia and Latin-America may be more or less poor and more or less powerful.

Land Rush plunges the gamer in a simulation of a rush for land and natural resources. Players take up the role of poor, middle-class or rich farmers. They compete for scarce natural resources. They make choices about crop and production techniques. And they face unforeseeable events with a positive or negative impact upon their livelihoods.

illustration land-rush