Join 3,382 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

But will it make people feel guilty when they play angry birds?
December 21, 2011 10:07 AM   Subscribe

New App Lets iPad Users Play With Real Live Pigs
posted by delmoi (77 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
WHY IS THIS NOT A THING I CAN PLAY IMMEDIATELY. oh the injustice.
posted by elizardbits at 10:09 AM on December 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


I see some scalability issues if this gets popular.
posted by demiurge at 10:10 AM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I want.... that one.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2011


Their Konami code is "bah ram ewe." God help us all if they ever figure it out.
posted by jbickers at 10:13 AM on December 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


You know, I was thinking about how much fun this sounded. Then I started thinking about how these are livestock pigs, and after playing many fun games with people, they will be slaughtered, butchered and eaten by people. I'm a meat-eater, but this kind of thing bothers me. I'll be the first to admit that I'd rather not consciously think about what I'm eating when I eat meat. This seems like it would increase my empathy for pigs, and specifically pigs destined for the food supply.

I wonder how many people will play this game and start thinking about vegetarianism.
posted by MythMaker at 10:15 AM on December 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


This seems like it would increase my empathy for pigs, and specifically pigs destined for the food supply.

If you stop eating them there will be more to play with!
posted by chavenet at 10:15 AM on December 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


The highest scoring pig should get freedom! Like Running Man!
posted by neuromodulator at 10:16 AM on December 21, 2011 [38 favorites]


Can we pelt them with real live birds?
posted by exogenous at 10:16 AM on December 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Eventually they will make some sort of remote-control machine that will let you hug and stroke a pig to calm it down before it is sent to slaughter. They will break down my apartment door and find me in this machine, having died of hunger.
posted by griphus at 10:17 AM on December 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


Then I started thinking about how these are livestock pigs, and after playing many fun games with people, they will be slaughtered, butchered and eaten by people. I'm a meat-eater, but this kind of thing bothers me.
Probably why they're talking about it on an environmentalist site. I just saw it on google+, and it immediately struck me as being such a strange idea, I figured it was FPP worthy.

Also, reminds me of cow clicker except in stead of cows, it's pigs, but instead of pigs, you're 'clicking' on real live actual pigs
posted by delmoi at 10:20 AM on December 21, 2011


Don't give my boss any ideas.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:21 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


But can you track them?
(also, missing the oink tag)
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:22 AM on December 21, 2011


I thought it was letting iPad users pay with real live pigs. That would be a jump start on the bartering we're all going to have to get used to post-Apocalypse.
posted by kmz at 10:22 AM on December 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


This photo is so Onion-y.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:23 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is absolutely my most favorite thing ever.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:23 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone's going to do a long exposure of the pig following the point of light as the human on the other end spells out "Wilbur", and then the internet is going to drown in tears.

I will of course contribute.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:25 AM on December 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is just installation art commentary on apple users, right?
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:26 AM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I pulled out my iPad and did a search for pig chase on the App store before I even finished the article.

I was profoundly disappointed.
posted by Mooski at 10:26 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


To say something a little more substantial (oops I got excited), although it certainly does sadden me that these pigs will be eaten, I'm not in denial of the world in which we live. If we as a population are going to continue to eat meat, I'm thrilled that someone anywhere is putting these sorts of things into practice and creating a more humane environment for the pigs while they're alive.

This project in particular is mutually beneficial, and although it could be a bit of a pipe dream, the fact that people will be playing with pigs may help them see how intelligent they are. Who knows? Maybe they'll even reconsider how much pork they eat.

Full disclosure: I am a vegetarian. AND A DREAMER
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:27 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apple now owns the concept of bacon.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it scales quite well. If people eat more bacon, they get more pigs to play with.

Unintended Consequences 101.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:28 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


This seems like it would increase my empathy for pigs, and specifically pigs destined for the food supply.

It's early yet, but I thought it somewhat telling that control-F for the word 'bacon' revealed no hits.

On preview, not so much.
posted by Mooski at 10:29 AM on December 21, 2011


There's a cognitive disconnect between how cute and lovable I find pigs to be IRL, and the 5 pound pork roast I'm going to eat by myself this week.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:29 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is brilliant, I will play it while I eat bacon!
posted by P.o.B. at 10:30 AM on December 21, 2011


Just wait until you're staying up late playing it in your dark bedroom. Through the murky glass, the pig suddenly stops playing. It just stares at you, and it's pnk rubbery lips move. "Help me" it seems to say, although there is no sound to confirm. "Please. Help me human."

You shut off the ipad and desperately try to calm yourself to sleep.
posted by Think_Long at 10:30 AM on December 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


I currently use my iPad as a spatula, it works just fine flipping that bacon, this is redundant.
posted by tomswift at 10:32 AM on December 21, 2011


This made me empathetic to the quality of the pigs' lives rather than sad for their imminent slaughter. Was it supposed to do that?
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:32 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the advance levels where the pig visits the city.
posted by drezdn at 10:33 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Then I started thinking about how these are livestock pigs, and after playing many fun games with people, they will be slaughtered, butchered and eaten by people.

yeah... I'm not sure it's all that pro-animal to be queasy about the distinction between social animal and livestock animal.. it just makes livestock animals less equal than the others. I understand you were talking about your feeling about it but just saying once we tease out the conclusion putting livestock animals back in the interact-with-world context of historical patterns is probably better for them.
posted by the mad poster! at 10:36 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the advance levels where the pig visits the city.

Holy shit. I was on the bus once, and some lady was talking to the bus driver about a movie she saw recently. I didn't catch the title, but she kept going on and on about how great Christopher Walken was. So I kept listening because, hey, who doesn't love a movie with Christopher Walken, and the driver ask what the title was and, guess what, it was Babe: Pig in the City. The thing is that recalling scenes from this film, she had not once mentioned a talking pig. Just how great Walken's acting was.
posted by griphus at 10:36 AM on December 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


I think on the question of empathy, we're forgetting that people have lived with livestock nearby for thousands of years (and many of us still do), and yet there remains a great willingness among the same people to consume those animals. I could go play with some sheep or cows any day of the week, but I would also eat them without a problem.
posted by Jehan at 10:37 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This made me empathetic to the quality of the pigs' lives rather than sad for their imminent slaughter. Was it supposed to do that?

Honestly, even this is a fantastic start. Not that vegetarianism should absolutely be the ultimate stop, but we should at least not be torturers while we're at it.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:37 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. I was on the bus once, and some lady was talking to the bus driver about a movie she saw recently. I didn't catch the title, but she kept going on and on about how great Christopher Walken was. So I kept listening because, hey, who doesn't love a movie with Christopher Walken, and the driver ask what the title was and, guess what, it was Babe: Pig in the City. The thing is that recalling scenes from this film, she had not once mentioned a talking pig. Just how great Walken's acting was.

I just read your whole comment in my head in a perfect Christopher Walken voice. And you know what? The acting was fantastic.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:40 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pretty much every time i go to a mefi meetup i end up having a conversation with stet about which cute fuzzy animals he is raising and eventually killing and selling as food. I think there's actually something pretty healthy about being aware of the relationship between the two things.
posted by Artw at 10:41 AM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you're in the US, I guarantee you will never have to worry about this or similar apps leading you to interact with a pig in a US factory farm.

Go ahead - try to find even the slightest scrap of actual industry information about how pigs are treated in the US.
posted by odinsdream at 10:44 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


My favorite low-tech way to amuse my pigs is to let my kids hose them down on a hot day. The pigs clearly appreciate it; they turn their faces up to the water and try to catch a drink and the water runs down their backs and they push each other out of the way to get more hose-time. Then when they've had enough, they shake themselves like dogs and flop in the mud. Ah, good times.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:45 AM on December 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm a proud carnivore, and I am not unnerved by getting closer to my meat before I eat it. I'm making the switch to eating only local, pastured meat (or, as my brother says, "fed only organic granola and raised outside the range of cell phone antennas;" the shorthand for it in my family is "hippie meat") because I'm fine with eating animals, but not with torturing them first. I would play the hell out of Pig Chase, possibly while eating a bacon sandwich. I think ethical meat eaters NEED to be more aware of their food as a cute fuzzy animal.
posted by KathrynT at 10:45 AM on December 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


Puts a new spin on "stop playing with your food at the dinner table"
posted by mrzarquon at 10:45 AM on December 21, 2011


When you unlock the advanced level you can actually slaughter the pigs. The gameplay then is mostly like Fruit Ninja.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:46 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Go ahead - try to find even the slightest scrap of actual industry information about how pigs are treated in the US.

FBI Says Activists Who Investigate Factory Farms Can Be Prosecuted as Terrorists
posted by the mad poster! at 10:46 AM on December 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


... But Christopher Walken isn't in Babe: Pig in the City.

Or is he?
posted by rewil at 10:48 AM on December 21, 2011


Could they set something like this up in Guantanamo?

It might increase societal empathy for people being held without trial or charge....also, I have some cousins who'd probably like to play a more direct (and nastier) role in the protection of our freedoms.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:48 AM on December 21, 2011


Holy shit. I was on the bus once, and some lady was talking to the bus driver about a movie she saw recently. I didn't catch the title, but she kept going on and on about how great Christopher Walken was. So I kept listening because, hey, who doesn't love a movie with Christopher Walken, and the driver ask what the title was and, guess what, it was Babe: Pig in the City. The thing is that recalling scenes from this film, she had not once mentioned a talking pig. Just how great Walken's acting was.

Wait a minute, Christopher Walken wasn't in "Babe: Pig in the City." She must have been thinking of "The Country Bears." Or perhaps "True Romance." All very similar.
posted by jbickers at 10:49 AM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]



Pretty much every time i go to a mefi meetup i end up having a conversation with stet about which cute fuzzy animals he is raising and eventually killing and selling as food. I think there's actually something pretty healthy about being aware of the relationship between the two things.
posted by Artw at 10:41 AM on December 21 [1 favorite +] [!]


It's worth mentioning that there are plenty of pet owners and farmers that do allow animals to needlessly suffer, despite proximity and relationship.

I agree that removing those layers of obfuscation between us and our food is a good thing, but it certainly doesn't guarantee anything. In the case of commercial meat industry, we'd be just as well served to push to unionize (often re-unionize) and government regulate.

Of course now I have a reliable way to disseminate radical literature to pigs, so we should be hearing from the first European Pork Local soon.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:51 AM on December 21, 2011


Yeah, I just looked it up and apparently he is not. But she was definitely talking about Pig in the City because I thought she said Big in the City and then, nope, clearly was talking about the pig movie.

Another cocktail party story, ruined by MetaFilter.
posted by griphus at 10:52 AM on December 21, 2011


If you stop eating them there will be more to play with!

No, there wouldn't be. If everyone stopped eating pork tomorrow, the only place you'd see pigs is in zoos.
posted by empath at 10:56 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Walken played the pit bull. Yes, he is that good.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:58 AM on December 21, 2011


Another cocktail party story, ruined by MetaFilter.

What? That makes the story even better. At the next cocktail party, I would jazz it up a little and talk about how she kept saying Walkin was a jewel thief.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:58 AM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


If everyone stopped eating pork tomorrow, the only place you'd see pigs is in zoos.



And everywhere else, if you can believe that the wild pig is "One of America's Largest Varmints."

Which is true apparently, although I chose the most un-metafilter source I could to demonstrate it.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:59 AM on December 21, 2011


No, there wouldn't be. If everyone stopped eating pork tomorrow, the only place you'd see pigs is in zoos.

They could also be roaming in feral herds.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:59 AM on December 21, 2011


Yeah, I thought it improved the story too, because she probably thought Walken played the part of the pig.
posted by jbickers at 10:59 AM on December 21, 2011


Go ahead - try to find even the slightest scrap of actual industry information about how pigs are treated in the US.

Yeah, one of our biggest worries about livestock has been the "disappearance" of swine over the last couple of decades. As a child I remember they would have a field which they could roam, huts in which to sleep, with wallows and troughs scattered around. They're almost all gone now as pigs have been moved indoors. It must have led to a reduction in their quality of life, as before they were pretty much living at will for most of the time. The article states that games such as these are necessary because pigs are now kept indoors, which seems to justify that position. I'm happy that livestock raising can be ethical and reasonable, but we need to ensure that we pay for an industry that stays on the right side of the line.

Of course now I have a reliable way to disseminate radical literature to pigs, so we should be hearing from the first European Pork Local soon.

C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre porcine!
posted by Jehan at 11:00 AM on December 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


If they do release that app I might just have to get me one of them iPads.
posted by heyho at 11:04 AM on December 21, 2011


Another cocktail party story, ruined by MetaFilter.

Unless I'm misunderstanding, I actually think it's a better story with that fact. That she was going on and on about Christopher Walken and then came up with that title is gold. (though I am disappointed to find that he isn't in that movie

(On preview I am not the first to say this. I got distracted reading the plot synopsis for Pig in the City. Reading about it, it actually seems a lot more like a movie Christopher Walken could be in than I earlier imagined.)

As for the original post, if you're concerned about that, pigs via app is actually probably an easier way to convince people of the love-ability of the beasts than if they visited in person. Because no matter how cute they can be, they can also be pretty fucking mean. (Of course, living in the conditions of some pigs, I'd be mean too.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:09 AM on December 21, 2011


OK, I really like this idea. Here's a free idea like it for anyone out there with the connections to make it happen: Make an app that will connect people with cats in shelters. That way the shelter cats get playtime, and people who might not otherwise get to play with cats (due to allergies, finances, etc.) gets to do so.

We already know from countless YouTube videos that cats like touch-screens, so it seems like it'd be win-win! And this kind of gets at the thing that cat cafés do, but without the zoning difficulties, and it'd be with animals who are already in need of companionship—and for those nearby, a later feature could be adding some kind of way to reserve a cat for adoption.
posted by limeonaire at 11:10 AM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reading about it, it actually seems a lot more like a movie Christopher Walken could be in than I earlier imagined

Any kid's movie with a line like: "The shadow of violence lies hard upon my soul" is a force to be reckoned with.

Or did I dream that?

At any rate, it's directed by the guy who gave us The Road Warrior, so....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2011


Now on reflection:

Arguing on the internet is like virtually wrestling with a pig: no one actually gets dirty, the pig likes it, and you experience the angst of engaging other beings only through the medium of technology.

Possibly followed by bacon.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:14 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading about it, it actually seems a lot more like a movie Christopher Walken could be in than I earlier imagined

No lie, it's one of my favorite movies of all time. So is the first Babe film, but for different reasons. The first film is a very sweet allegory about life and confidence and self-understanding, but the second one is an off-the-rails surrealist masterpiece. And the writing is just so, so good. (The mother dog's words of encouragement to the pig, before he/she sets off to the city? "More often than not, in this world, fortune favors the brave.")
posted by jbickers at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Piggy and Puggy
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2011


Next up, Laser Pointer Kitty Chase, Make My Dog Fat, and Parrot Chat.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:24 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Eventually they will make some sort of remote-control machine that will let you hug and stroke a pig to calm it down before it is sent to slaughter.

We take our pigs to a local butcher that's only a short drive away. A week or 10 days beforehand, my husband parks the trailer at an angle to the pen, and re-fences so that the open trailer is pig-accessible. We put straw on the ramp for better traction, and then put feed pans in the trailer. The day before we leave for the butcher's, we put the pigs on short rations; the day of, we fill the pans in the trailer with all sorts of kitchen scraps, and the pigs walk right into the trailer without any problem. We shut the door and pull out.

Dropping off pigs can be iffy, as they're nervous about the new sights and the smell. They don't always want to come out and it can be...difficult...to convince 170-lb.-plus animals to move when they don't want to. Last time, I was able to drive four pigs from the trailer, down the hallway and into the chutes all by myself, without any pig rattles or blocking panels, and did it in under two minutes.

The secret weapon? A big bag of stale marshmallows.

Turns out that if you give a pig a marshmallow, he'll devour it and snuffle for the next one. I laid down a nice thick trail of them in the butcher's hallway, and darn if they didn't eat their way into the holding chutes. They did this without the least bit of fear or discomfort, which is the last gift I could have given them while they were under my care. From the time they came to us to the moment we closed the chute doors, my pigs had good, relaxed, sun- and fun-filled lives, and even though it's always a little sad to see them go, I know they went well.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:33 AM on December 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Having spent a lot of my childhood on and around farms, I really don't understand how people find knowing that meat is animals uncomfortable. As a kid, on a farm, you'd often be playing with animals you'd later eat. I don't see an inherent contradiction between wanting animal welfare and eating meat.

That being said, I'm not sure if this is awesome or awful. It seems kind of cool, but almost strikes me as exploitative of the pigs, and that's before some joker starts 'trolling' the pigs - effectively taunting, maybe almost torturing them...
posted by Dysk at 11:51 AM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


(°°)
posted by oneirodynia at 12:02 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


My husband suggests that somehow we hook this up to Angry Birds for some beautifully ironic symmetry.
posted by KathrynT at 12:05 PM on December 21, 2011


By the way, the real link is:
http://www.playingwithpigs.nl/

It's the exact same article but has links and context, including a video.

I'm not sure if it's worth updating the links, but it's certainly better to go to the source.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:15 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is just installation art commentary on apple users, right?

I'm honestly surprised this isn't from Mefi Projects.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:43 PM on December 21, 2011


Go ahead - try to find even the slightest scrap of actual industry information about how pigs are treated in the US.

There is a coffee table book. There's a copy in my spare room as we speak.

My pigs preferred form of entertainment is trying to eat me. Maybe next year they'll get to try to eat artw's children! They are having a happy life in the finest environment I can give them and, when it's their time to go, it'll be in their pasture before. From my perspective, there's been an increase in total animal happiness because of my decision to raise the pigs since they wouldn't have existed otherwise. There's certainly room for disagreement this, but the pigs have a great (if truncated) life, help preserve an endangered breed of swine, renovate an overgrown pasture before I eat them. Treat animals kindly, *then* eat them, as the bumper sticker almost says.

That the EU mandates entertainment for swine is terrific. It makes me really happy to see animal welfare regulated at that level. Also, I want to play this game all the time.

Fellow farm folk, shouldn't we be out doing chore instead of posting on MeFi?
posted by stet at 1:21 PM on December 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fellow farm folk, shouldn't we be out doing chore instead of posting on MeFi?

Busted.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:31 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


So busted
posted by mrgroweler at 1:39 PM on December 21, 2011


If anybody needs me, I'll be in my room poking the pig.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:49 PM on December 21, 2011


Next up, Laser Pointer Kitty Chase, Make My Dog Fat, and Parrot Chat.

I tried Parrot Chat and all I saw was some dude's cockatoo.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:54 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have no idea how these people got their pigs into their iPhones, or why.
posted by koeselitz at 2:46 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a great idea. Know what would be a better idea? Playing With Christopher Walken.
posted by panboi at 2:49 PM on December 21, 2011


There is a coffee table book. There's a copy in my spare room as we speak.

Thanks for the link. I did say industry specifically. I'm sure none of those internal photos came from industry publications.
posted by odinsdream at 3:02 PM on December 21, 2011


Playing With Christopher Walken.

Oh, come now. I'm sure you would much rather buy my new app called Talkin' With Walken*.

*I hereby reserve the right to use faux-Walken in place of real Walken.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:52 PM on December 21, 2011


Apple now owns the concept of bacon.

Bacon is now a concept? Does that mean we can stop all the references?
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:52 AM on December 22, 2011


You can still refer to bacon, butonly if it is triangular or green.
posted by Artw at 6:17 AM on December 22, 2011


« Older Bookdedications is a collection of gift inscriptio...  |  Marvin E. Quasniki officially ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments