Throughout the ages, no matter the form, games have always been a favourite pastime for humanity. And now, it seems like pigs have joined the fray.
Many of us would have heard of the famous saying ‘when pigs fly’. Well, it turns out that just before actually learning how to fly, pigs have learned how to play video games.
A recent study conducted by scientists in the UK tested two Panepinto micro and Yorkshire pigs each on their ability to manoeuvre a joystick controller and complete a simple arcade game.
Somewhat dubiously named Hamlet, Omelette, Ebony, and Ivory, the pigs used joysticks modified for their snouts and were tasked to steer an on-screen sensor into walls. They were rewarded with pellets for every round they completed. However, as the pigs progressed, the researchers found that they were similarly stimulated by encouraging words.
Ivory ended up being the best player, successfully finishing 76% of its games. Hamlet and Omelette were somewhat evenly skilled, though the former showed some ham and ended up scoring higher close to 50% accuracy. With a score of 34%, Ebony ended up ranking as last among the bunch, but achieved an impressive feat regardless.
Those interested in finding out more can check out the full research paper here.
This experiment may not be as bizarre as you may think after all, as pigs have been reported on several occasions of bearing an intense similarity with humans. They’re also amongst our smartest animal brethren.
What’s more, this isn’t the first time pigs have experienced the wonder of recreational human tech. Take Gertrude for instance, whom Elon Musk used to demonstrate the power of his new Neuralink brainchip.
No need to worry, though. The study finds that the gaming ability of pigs is still far below that of humans, so you won’t have to worry about encountering a pig as an opponent anytime soon. Probably.