Pig Chase is hands-down one of my favorite projects to emerge over the past year. Designers and researchers at Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and Wageningen UR have been working on a project to allow farmers to engage with their pigs on more than a “feed me” level. Per the project’s mission, “Their aim is to fulfil the pigs? need to play, and find out whether a different relationship can be founded with humans.”
The game is simple. You control an orb of light on your iPad which is project on the wall next to the pigs. If they touch it with their snout, the orb explodes with light. The goal is for the player to control the orb in harmony with the pigs’ snout to guide them through triangles that are visible on the iPad. It’s a bit like pair skating at the Olympics.
The project is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research’ ‘Ethics, Research and Management? which focuses on “ways in which the development of new technology can be used to increase the depth of societal debates on animal farming.” Will this be the game that trains pigs in the ways of man for their eventual takeover of the species? Or it could just be a great way for us to emphatize with adorable piglets. Your call.