The sun rises over the mountain panorama and bathes the landscape in a warm morning light, while the farmer leisurely drives his machine across the field.

The soil looks fertile, it's time to sow the seeds.

But the brown floor is not made of earth, but of countless pixels, just like the rest of the romantic landscape.

The tractor that drives here is controlled with mouse and keyboard and belongs to the game "Farming Simulator".

Philipp Johannssen

Editor on duty at FAZ.NET.

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Is a silo still missing in which to store the grain?

Is there any other equipment needed to harvest the fruit later in the year?

Or should you focus on animal husbandry?

It's set up with just a few clicks.

Many millions of people around the world are fans of the game.

The agricultural game series is an example of the hype surrounding simulation games that has been around for a number of years: anyone who enjoys driving large vehicles such as buses, trucks or trains, or even wants to fly a passenger plane, can try it out, as well as everyday work as a police officer or fireman.

Some development studios have dedicated themselves to this genre alone, such as Giants Software.

The team from near Zurich has been continuously developing the farming simulator since 2008.

More than 30 million copies of the game series have been sold.

It is no longer a niche product for people with an affinity for tractors and large machines.

The game has more than 28,000 reviews on the Steam distribution platform, most of them positive.

There are user comments like: "I don't want a Maserati anymore, give me a Fendt and I'll be happy", or "I now follow Massey Ferguson on Instagram and dreamily look at tractors that pass me and sigh softly".

While real farming is tough business, the romance of life as a farmer thrives in the digital.

Every video game is a simulation because the player can let off steam in a virtual environment within the limits of the game's possibilities, whether the protagonist is a jumping plumber like Super Mario or a goat on a kamikaze mission like in Goat Simulator " is.

However, while most games create fantasy worlds in which the action takes place, simulation games aim to represent reality as faithfully as possible.

This also includes titles such as the FIFA series and other sports games, job, driving or flight simulations or city planning.

Anyone who thinks video games are just escapism is wrong.

Real life fascinates - in its virtual reflection.

Why is that?

What is the appeal of everyday life?

"Games are safe shelters," says Benjamin Strobel.

He is a psychologist, lecturer and media consultant.

"In games I can try myself out safely and have the feeling of being in the appropriate shoes.

And if it's too exhausting for me or I don't feel like it anymore, I can simply switch off the game," says Strobel.

In short: If you wanted to be a firefighter or policeman as a child and now have a rather boring office job, you can still fulfill your childhood dream in a certain way.

Strobel has another explanation: "The activities in simulation games are more manageable compared to real everyday work, i.e. clearly limited in terms of time and space, and you always have a clear goal in mind.

In addition, you see results immediately, i.e. the effect of your own actions.

This is not always possible in everyday life or at work, where goals and success can often be a long way off.”