Hey, wanna see watch rats play Doom? Well, okay, fine... they don’t much “play” Doom as they do “learn to walk atop a glorified mouse ball that propels them down a customized, straight-line level hallway which occasionally spawns a non-combative demon imp to gun down.” But still, it’s pretty adorable in a weird, kind of creepy way.
Check out the video below:
It definitely lives up to the video’s title of “Rats Running in Doom,” doesn’t it? Victor Tóth, the neuro-engineer responsible for the endeavor, wrote a lengthy rundown of the entire experiment (which honestly does have some pretty interesting end goals apart from “get rodents to blast various pixelated hellspawn.”
Stopped short of full-on Doomslayer — Unfortunately, Tóth writes that while he was able to construct a (very cute) rig that helped train his rats to traverse a Doom environment, time constraints prevented him from really getting into the weeds when it came to teaching his subjects how to properly blast away at their demonic on-screen enemies.
“I built a VR setup for rodents from scratch and trained three rats in an automated fashion, without manual intervention, to traverse a corridor rendered in the DOOM II engine," he noted. "Although I did implement the mechanisms to further train rats to shoot monsters in-game, I lacked the time to actually reinforce the behavior."
Someone much smarter than us needs to pick up where this innovator left off and finish the job, please.
Doom advancements in other fields — Despite first debuting in 1993, Doom has surprisingly been the gory gift that keeps on giving, especially when it comes to the worlds of AI and computational advancements. Recently, someone even managed to construct a “Doom Bot” on Twitter that took human users’ replies and converted them into in-game commands. It’s the original run-and-gun FPS that just keeps on giving.