I used to think it took a certain amount of skill to “make it” in the field of professional gaming. If you have seen a pro gamer play on a live stream, then you can appreciate the amount of focus it takes to play at such a high level, all while simultaneously chatting with your fervent supporters.

However, after reading one study out of the scientific journal Frontiers in Psychology, I am starting to think otherwise…

Erston Martz / Pennsylvania State University

The pig you see before you is one of four pigs chosen by the late Stanley Curtis, Candace Croney, and Sarah Boysen, to see if they can be taught to manipulate a joystick with their snout to move a computer cursor across a computer screen. Their objective: to maneuver the cursor to hit a wall (not exactly Call of Duty). Once they completed the task, a treat dispenser connected to the joystick would deliver a snack. Yum!

How did they perform? According to the study, quite well! The game had varying difficulty levels, wit the number of walls appearing on the screen being slowly whittled down from four to just one. One pig even had a success rate of 76% (which is considered excellent for a pig).

So where are these pigs now? Are they on their way to Twitch stardom as we speak? They were actually forced to throw in the towel twelve weeks after the start of the experiment because “they grown too large to stand long enough to complete sessions”. And people say playing video games isn’t exercise…

So unfortunately, we may never see the pig version of our favorite video game streamers in our lifetime. Still, next time I am helping myself to a plate of bacon, I may never be able to shake the feeling that I may be eating the next big streamer…

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