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A detailed description of a compact Monte Carlo simulation code “G3sim” for studying the performance of a plastic scintillator detector with wavelength shifter (WLS) fiber readout is presented. G3sim was developed for optimizing the design of new scintillator detectors used in the GRAPES-3 extensive air shower experiment. Propagation of the blue photons produced by the passage of relativistic charged particles in the scintillator is treated by incorporating the absorption, total internal, and diffuse reflections. Capture of blue photons by the WLS fibers and subsequent re-emission of longer wavelength green photons is appropriately treated. The trapping and propagation of green photons inside the WLS fiber is treated using the laws of optics for meridional and skew rays. Propagation time of each photon is taken into account for the generation of the electrical signal at the photomultiplier. A comparison of the results from G3sim with the performance of a prototype scintillator detector showed an excellent agreement between the simulated and measured properties. The simulation results can be parametrized in terms of exponential functions providing a deeper insight into the functioning of these versatile detectors. G3sim can be used to aid the design and optimize the performance of scintillator detectors prior to actual fabrication that may result in a considerable saving of time, labor, and money spent.