To make your Monday complete, I present you with a variety of videos featuring animals playing video games, along with analysis of whether they are good at the games. BEHOLD:
1. Real Lizard Eats Virtual Ants
A bearded dragon plays "Ant Smasher," an Android phone game. He or she is excellent, clearly differentiating between ants and other insects in the game, but seems to do a little unnecessary lip-licking. Best YouTube comment: "Thumbs up? if you are an Ant and you find this offensive."
2. Bonobo Plays Ms. Pac-Man (With Help)
With some encouragement by researcher Susan Savage-Rumbaugh, this bonobo plays Ms. Pac-Man. Skill level: low -- ghost avoidance strategy needs work. (See a bit more of this in Savage-Rumbaugh's excellent TED Talk; a snippet of this Pac-Man video is shown at the very end, minus narration.)
3. Cats Play "Game for Cats" on iPad
Two cats attempt to master an iPad game called, appropriately, Game for Cats (iTunes link -- the game is free). The cats seem generally confused by the notion of a screen, and attempt to go underneath the iPad, with unsatisfactory results. Their claws also keep getting stuck on the carpet; for optimal play, perhaps a carpet isn't a great idea. In general, the cats seem pretty interested in smacking those mice, though their technique isn't optimal.
Related: there's a similar app in which cats "paint" as they stomp on virtual mice (iTunes link; app costs $1.99).
4. Cat Frustrated By Duck Hunt
This poor cat does a great job playing Duck Hunt, but lacks the Nintendo Zapper Light Gun -- so that obnoxious in-game dog keeps popping up and mocking the poor feline's apparent failure. Skill level: excellent. Virtual dog's conduct: unsportsmanlike.
5. Hamster Inhabits Real-World Platformer
While not a video game per se, some industrious hamster owner has put together a diorama version of a platformer game (reminiscent of 8-bit NES games like Super Mario Bros.) and unleashed his hapless hamster into it. The hamster does a pretty good job traversing the maze, but takes a few breaks to do some adorable self-grooming.
Leave comments with any videos I missed! (Note: the "dog playing Tony Hawk" you see all over YouTube is fake.)