Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that pigs can play video games, reports the BBC. In the study, the Yorkshire piglets Hamlet and Ommelette and the Panepinto micropigs Ebony and Ivory were trained to control an arcade joystick with their muzzle.
According to the researchers, the fact that the piglets can understand the connection between the joystick and the activity on the screen is quite a feat. The intention of the game is that the piglets drag a cursor into one of the two blue-colored bars on the screen. At one point, even the reward given to Hamlet and his consorts for gaming was no longer necessary: the game itself turned out to be interesting enough for the piglets.
Typically, the piglets would get a pallet of food pushed down for each pot they closed ‘winning’.
However, the system that made this possible broke down. To the astonishment of the scientists, the animals had not been engaged in their rewards for a long time: the animals continued to play unhindered.
According to scientist Candace Croney, these kinds of tests are important to better understand animals like piglets. , “It shows that — as with other animals — the way we treat piglets is important to them and has a certain impact on them.” In addition, it was special for the scientists to see that the piglets, even though they do not have thumbs and hands and are also visually impaired, can play a video game.
It has to be said that it was not always an easy task for the pigs. For example, the Yorkshire Pigs Hamlet was a more skilled gamer than Omelette, but they both had considerable difficulty with the game as the difficulty level went up. In the Panepinto micropigs, the difference in level was even greater. Ivory managed to hit the bars in 76%, where Ivory was far behind with a score of 34%.
“ Piglets look right in the eye “
Kate Daniels, from the Willow Farm in Worcestershire, tells BBC Radio 4 that the results of the investigation do not surprise her. ,, That they can exploit a situation to get a reward is no surprise. If you work with pigs, you see it every day.”
Nor should the intelligence of the animals be underestimated. In addition, she quotes a frequently repeated quote by Winston Churchill. , Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you and piglets look you right in the eye.”