Quick Start Guide

This Quick Start guide provides a basic introduction to the MV Sim. For a quick tutorial video, try the MVSim Tutorial page. For a complete description of the simulation, see the Player Manual. For details on particular elements within the MV Sim, including background information on the challenges you will face, visit the MV Sim Elements. To start playing, log into theMV Sim. For an introduction to each of the decision-making tabs within the MV Sim, proceed to the next page, Quick Start: Making Decisions.

Overview of the MV Sim

The MV Sim is an educational simulation designed to help you experience some of the challenges of rural sub-Saharan Africa. Your goal is to provide for your family as you move from subsistence to income-generating activities. The maximum length of a game is 100 turns. Each turn represents a 6-month growing season, so the maximum time span of a single game is 50 years. When the simulation begins, your family consists of 2 people, Kodjo and Fatou, both aged 15. The simulation ends when all of your family members perish, or when you have completed 100 turns. You earn points based on your family's prosperity.

How to play a turn

On each turn, you must make decisions about how to manage your family's time and money and your village's policies. After you have made your selections, click the End turn button. This will apply your decisions to the next growing season, and your game will advance by 6 months. You will be shown a report summarizing results from the season, including your family's harvest and financial accounts. You must close the report before you can continue to the next turn, but you may later review it by clicking on Last season's report. More.

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Some General Pointers

You should keep the following points in mind as you start to make decisions for your family and village.
  • There are 3 basic resources that you need to survive: raw food, cooking fuel, and drinking water.
  • You can obtain raw food by growing your own food, going fishing, or generating enough income to purchase food.
  • Your can cook your food using fuelwood you have collected or a propane stove.
  • You must spend some of your time collecting drinking water unless your village has obtained a water pump.
  • Rainfall varies each season, and there is always a risk of drought.
  • Your village is vulnerable to malaria epidemics.

Specific decisions you must make as you play the MV Sim are described on the next page, Quick Start: Making Decisions.