Great farm safety mobile game – pity it's not free
The Agrikids app, which is available for Android and Apple devices, is designed for all children aged six and up. It includes a free game, Dodge the Danger, in which players must avoid lethal farm items hurling towards them at increasing speeds through the yard. The Dealer had great fun ducking from tractors, ploughs, ladders and menacing nails protruding through pieces of timber – all to the sound of appropriate banjo country tunes composed by Donegal musician Jamie Wilson.
Collecting hi-vis jackets and hats gives welcome additional protection from farm dangers, but is not enough to save your life, in the app just like on the farm.
Every session starts with the warning: “never go on a farm on your own.” This is guaranteed to hammer the message into kids’ heads, if The Dealer’s children’s own tendency to play the same game over and over again is anything to go by. There is also a link to more detailed farm safety advice on Agrikids’s own website.
However, the notoriously stingy Dealer was dismayed to be asked to pay €1.99 for each of the next two games, Stop the Bales and Blackberry Picking. Granted, Agrikids is a commercial venture, and its founder Alma Jordan, as well as game designers Fierce Fun and illustrator Martin Beckett, need to be paid for their work. The Dealer himself is known to put his juiciest stories behind the Irish Farmers Journal pay wall.
Yet with the number of sponsors competing to support farm safety initiatives – as illustrated by the numerous funding awards collected by Agrikids itself – maybe a revenue source other than farming families’ children themselves could have been identified?