Since its launch in 1993, Doom It has only grown in popularity and garnered new fans. The video game, which consists of annihilating different hordes of demons on Earth and in the underworld, is no longer a fun option exclusively for humans, now it can also be played by rats.
A Hungarian neuroscientist named Viktor Toth has developed a customized platform of virtual reality so that these rodents can overcome a very basic level of Doom ii. Surprisingly, the little animals have managed to move through the game and pass the initial test of the experiment.
Since rats cannot play like humans, Toth managed to adapt the game. He first used the Doom Builder 2 editor to design a low complexity map. This consisted of a hallway with an exit door. He also added a midway demon that, unlike the original version, did not attack the character.
On the other hand, the neuroscientist set up a kind of personalized virtual environment. This consisted of a huge screen, a rubber-coated ball with three bearings, multiple motion sensors and a harness. To motivate the rats named Carmack, Romero and Tom in honor of the creators of Doom, resorted to a stimulus based on sugar water that was distributed through a tube.
Rats on the attack in Doom II
“I built a rodent virtual reality setup from scratch and trained three rats in an automated way, without manual intervention, to traverse a hallway rendered on the engine DOOM II. Although I implemented the mechanisms to further train the rats to shoot monsters in the game, I did not have time to reinforce the behavior. “Viktor toth
In this way, when the rats walked, the character would move forward. When the demon appeared, they did not know what to do since “they do not understand that shooting is acts of killing“However, by lifting their body (a previously trained move) they activated a button that removed the threat in Doom. They were immediately given some sugar water.
Virtual reality platforms and rodents are used frequently in neuroscience, but Toth wants his project to serve to create an automatic training setup. more affordable. With this project, which can be consulted in detail in its Blog, has taken the first step. The neuroscientist assures that there are more studies to come related to video games such as Doom.
“I had a lot of fun building a rodent and rat VR training platform at little play at Doom, “However, the question remains whether the rats were actually playing Doom ii or you were just doing your best to receive the reward. You can draw your own conclusions with the following video.