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    IN CONTROL: Natimuk artist Dave Jones harvests a ‘virtual’ wheat crop as part of a Natimuk Grain Arcade project, which comprises two farm-focused show day attractions. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

AgLife: Natimuk in the virtual driving seat


Natimuk community members and regional leaders enjoyed an opportunity to try their hand at harvesting a crop – virtually – as part of an official launch of two community projects.

Member for Mallee Anne Webster opened the Natimuk Showground Upgraded Pavilion and Virtual Reality Show Day Attraction projects earlier this month.

The combined projects cost $600,000, with the virtual reality attractions to be used at upcoming agricultural shows.

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Natimuk Agricultural and Pastoral Society secretary Judith Bysouth said Natimuk Grain Arcade featured two virtual reality games, based on a farming theme.

“One is set up in the latest model harvester cabin and the other is set up inside a portable field bin,” she said. 

“The idea is to create the ambience and feeling of sitting inside the cabin, using the sticks to harvest a crop. 

“Anne Webster tested her skills on the virtual header game and got an exceptional score.”



Mrs Bysouth said the grain arcade games made an appearance at this year’s Natimuk Show but would have their first major outing at the 130th show next year.

The milestone show will coincide with 150th Back to Natimuk celebrations on March 26.

“We did have some bookings this year, but they were cancelled because of the pandemic,” Mrs Bysouth said.

“In the end it’s worked out in our favour, because we can now make a big deal out of them at our own event. 

“We will hire them out in the future but it takes a bit of work because they are so big and need transporting.”

Mrs Bysouth said the society contracted Natimuk animator and projection artist Dave Jones to head up the virtual reality project.

“Dave did a wonderful job,” she said.

“We also had help from Traction Ag, which sourced the cabin and provided support, as did Natimuk Lions Club. Local trader Natimuk Solar also gave a donation towards the project.”

Mr Jones said the grain arcade games were designed to push farming concepts in a fun format.

“In the header you get two minutes to get as much of the crop off as you can,” he said.

“The idea is to make a game that as many people can have a quick go at. 

“You can always come back and have another go and see if you get a higher score.”

The entire December 22, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire December 22, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!