‘Field Test’, an exhibition at the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, featuring the ‘Playing with Pigs’ project by Clemens Driessen and colleagues.
The Playing with Pigs project began investigating the complex relationship we have with domesticated pigs by designing a game. It started as the wild idea of a pig farmer frustrated with the lack of ways to save her pigs from debilitating boredom. It was also spurred on by a European directive that calls for farmed pigs to be provided with something they find interesting to do, to prevent bored, aggressive pigs from biting each other’s tails.
Designing new forms of human-pig interaction can create the opportunity for consumers and pigs to play together, as well as to experience each other’s capabilities. The first prototype game showcased in the video is called Pig Chase. It met some of the goals the creators had for their game: to create a genuine experience of playful interaction between two curious subjects. It appears to put humans in control, whereas both the pig and human player need to learn to move together, allowing for mutual adaptation and attunement. However, there are still numerous challenges ahead in creating a truly ‘level’ playing field.
The aim is to create an open-source platform that invites people to try out new modes of engaging and interacting with animals that would otherwise be hidden from view.