A team of Dutch researchers and designers have produced a computer game in which both pigs and humans can participate – called Pig Chase. Key in the game, developed by Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR) and the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), is that pigs can have interaction with an iPad equipped human player, through a screen full of light effects.
It had already been known that pigs are capable of commanding a simple computer game. The novel element is to have pigs and humans play together.
Designers Kars Alfrink, Irene van Peer and Hein Lagerweij (HKU) teamed up with Clemens Driessen, philosopher and Marc Bracke, animal welfare scientist (WUR) over the last year to work on the computer game for pigs. Thus they have attempted to find out whether this could meet the animals’ desire to play – and to see if different types of relationships with humans could possibly be established.
Pig producers have also been closely involved in the designing process. They helped create the game by responding to several game element suggestions during the testing phase.
The producers really liked the video images projected on the wall. In addition, the designers found out that pigs are interested in light effects, and that pigs follow these with their snouts. Using this knowledge, the producers made a video set-up. It can be viewed here.
Introducing the game as Pig Chase, human players can operate a light effect on a pig pen wall, aimed to grab a curious pig’s attention, and together move into certain directions, past certain objects.
The current game is mainly a concept that still needs to be further developed.