Quick and dirty typologies of pet's reactions to video-games
One of the near future laboratory interest concerns what I called "new interaction partners", e.g. the inclusion and participation of pets in the social web. This is why I was very interested in this Joytiq blogpost about pets confused by video games. The author of the blogpost ask people to write some examples of past experience about "animal stories": "Have a cat that flips out with the Wii pointer on the screen? Do you also have a dog who howls along like he's wolf".
The research-y side of my brain made my look more closely at the content of the narratives. So here are 2 quick and dirty typologies. First about the features that make them react: - visual features in the game: visible (bearded characters, bark at cats) or less visible (cat obsessed with laser pointers, chasing them) - audio: high pitch, howl-like noise - lots of physical activities around the pet
(Picture taken from lameazoid)
And, more interestingly the reactions are very diverse: - pet wants to participate and do similar movements: "we had a number of rounds of Wii Sports (...) One of my dogs saw us jumping around in front of the TV so he decided to join in". - pet becomes mad: "both of my dogs freaked out when the dog in the video started howling", "they still kept barking for at least a minute after that" - pet shows signs of fear: " My cat gets freaked out whenever I howl in Zelda. Her fur stands on end and she starts looking around the ceiling and walls " - look at tv, try to paw at it when certain event happen: "my dog always wanted to grab mario", "my cat, zelda, loves the horse running around in shadow of the colossus and will paw the tv at it" - demands attention, come and expect treat: "I can't use any of the voice functions on my DS at home due to the dogs - In Nintendogs they come running and expect treats when I tell the virtual dog to do anything."
Why blogging this? because they are deeply engaging narratives about the implications of video games for animals as well as curious description about how they can be engaged in a technosocial situation. In a sense, they reflect how a basic interaction (human+console+tv) is a more complex system that is made of other participants (humans/non-humans), tools (pen to draw things, cheatcodes or walkthrough described in magazines).