Gamers are making bank by playing a farming simulator and growing an appreciation for agriculture while doing it

“Farmville” this is not: “Farming Simulator” is a realistic farming game released in 2009 that has captured the attention—and wallets—of many gamers who have developed an appreciation for agriculture by playing the game, reports St. Louis Public Radio. The game has remained wildly popular for more than a decade because players find the simulator relaxing and it’s been updated every two years with new tools, machinery, and environments to farm. Some people have even made a living by doing their virtual farming through streaming platforms on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, where gamers with large followings are paid by viewers to perform monotonous tasks like buying and updating equipment and harvesting fields. It’s not 100 percent realistic—you can’t harvest while driving at 60 miles per hour in real life—but even actual farmers have found themselves unwinding after a long day of driving a real tractor by operating a virtual one. There’s just something alluring about operating a farm where the conditions are always perfect.

The Counter Stories by our editors.