Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Pigs Are The Gamers Of The Future

If you love video games and animals, get ready to squeal for excitement, because a new study published this week scientifically confirmed that pigs can play video games. Published in Frontiers in Psychology, this study has determined that "pigs have the capacity to acquire a joystick-operated video-game task."

Meet Hamlet, Omelette, Ebony, and Ivory: pigs today, gaming stars tomorrow. The first two are Yorkshire pigs, while the others are Panepinto micro pigs. According to the study, "The pigs were required to move the cursor to make contact with three-, two-, or one-walled targets randomly allocated for position on the monitor, and a reward was provided if the cursor collided with a target."

The games they played weren't exactly high-intensity, but the pigs' snout skills were still found to be impressive. Though the pigs did well, the study found that they could likely perform better with a touchscreen and more considerations to better fit their far-sighted vision and dexterity needs. While you probably won't see pigs streaming on Twitch anytime soon, the fact that they can figure out and even potentially enjoy gaming is, well, a game-changer. 

So, why study if pigs can play video games, other than the obvious cuteness? Well, for this research, animal experts wanted to get more insight into the intelligence, skills, and learning capabilities of farm animals, hot topics that continue to produce new studies and insights. There have been other similar intelligence studies involving other animals, including one in which primates played video games. While the primates fared better overall, the pigs get extra cuteness points for playing with their snouts.

No pigs were harmed in this study. In fact, they were rewarded with a "computer-generated 'bloop' sound" and food. Also, the study noted that the pigs seemed to get some benefit from socializing with the trainers. Snacks, catchy video game sounds, and some buddies to play with? Maybe pigs aren't so different than people, after all!

According to CNET, "The researchers are interested in taking the study further to see if computers and symbols could be used for communication with pigs." The study is an important step in understanding the minds of pigs, and what they may be capable of. There may not be a real-world Spider-Ham just yet, but seeing these pigs successfully play a joystick-controlled game makes the future of gaming and animal science a little brighter, and a whole lot cuter.