Not trying to be mean or anything, but pigs have never been considered the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it’s pretty hard to imagine one actually playing a game.

And yet, a team of researchers from Purdue University actually tried to figure this out themselves, so they decided to show pigs how to play games and then hope they would eventually learn to do the whole thing on their own.

Using a pair of joysticks to control a version of Pong, four pigs have been trained to use their snouts to play the game, getting a reward every time they accomplished a simple task as responding to what was happening on the screen.

A clear learning curve

Of course, all they had to do was to move a cursor displayed on the screen to make contact with one, two, or three walled targets showing up at random places on the monitor. So theoretically, the pigs just had to move the cursor to collide with a target, in which case the game generated a sound and the pigs were … (read more)