Scientist Plans to 'Stream' Rats Playing Doom II on Twitch

Neuroengineer Viktor Tóth trained three rats to play "Doom II."

A Hungarian scientist has taught rats to play Doom II and aims to stream them on the social media platform Twitch in the near future.

Viktor Tóth, a neuroengineer from Eastern Europe, has been looking to gain more of a concise insight regarding brain-computer interfaces, by teaching rodents to walk down a corridor in a game without requiring any help.

This is looking into virtual reality (VR) and how 3D environments can be explored by rats by using their natural survival instincts by running in the wild.

Toth is also looking into the possibility of live-streaming his experiments for the world to see on Twitch to showcase on his attempts to try and turn rats into gamers.

Rats Play Doom 2

Doom 2

Speaking to Futurism (via VGC), Toth believes that carrying out these experiments on Twitch is a "very valid way" to make money.

"I think [Twitch streaming] a very valid way to monetize a project like this,” he said. “The only problem is how long the rat can run for.

“I had Romero [one of Toth's rats] running for 15 minutes one time, which was great. That was crazy because he was doing it for so long and didn’t get tired or want to get off.

“So if you can actually get the rat to a point where it actually expresses curiosity in the game, then it could get really interesting.

“If you could get to that point and rats would actually ‘play’ for 10 or 20 minutes straight, then yeah. Twitch streaming would be a very valid way to get this in front of people.”

Toth admitted that he aims to plan more experiments in the future, especially when it comes to 3D Pac-Man.

“Behaviourally, it makes sense,” Toth continued. “The rats don’t really like to attack stuff. They run away from things in the wild. That’d be dynamic with 3D Pac-Man. You’d have to look back to see if there’s a ghost behind you."

He went on to say, however, that it is probably not realistic due to the 180-degree turns that Pac-Man makes could be difficult to replicate.


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