Joipaw, a startup based in the U.K, is developing video games for dogs and the idea behind this is absolutely genius!
While most people may question the relevance of dog games, they are actually very beneficial for your furry friends. They can help develop their cognitive abilities! So, Joipaw plans to use current-generation technology to develop a console and games that can help dogs reap the benefits of mind games! While they won’t be as complex as human games, they’ll still be extremely interesting and fun.
If you, too, want to read more about Joipaw’s dog games and their mission, then keep reading. We’ve covered all the details regarding their upcoming projects down below.
Joipaw Dog Games Release Date
The release date or timeframe for the dog games is unknown at the moment. Joipaw is still working on the initial prototype phase. The games run on a customized saliva-resistant touch-screen console that your furry pets can play on using their snouts.
The pricing model for the console and game subscriptions is also in the works right now.
Game Design and Gameplay
Joipaw dog games are much more simple than human games. However, it takes more coaxing to get your canine friends to start playing with them.
The games include a test where doggie games must pick images that contain more bubbles and a whack-a-mole game. Once the dogs successfully win a game, the console dispenses fun treats for them. Moreover, the games may also make use of a motion-sensitive tracker that is attached to the dog’s collar. It will allow for additional control in some of them.
The whack-a-mole game’s earliest stages display a single critter that gets the dog’s attention using peanut butter on the console screen. The game has been tested with nearly 2 dozen dogs. The most difficult part seems to be getting canine competitors to begin playing without the use of peanut butter. But, once they do play it, Avdar, Joipaw’s co-founder, describes the moment as a “magic moment where you see the light in their eyes.”
Once you get your dog’s attention on the game, the next part is a mental workout for them as they play a potential half-hour challenge. However, it can also tire-out dogs.
Joipaw hopes to release several dog games, including a game where dogs must avoid a hedgehog’s spikes. It is designed for your furry friend to play against you.
Furthermore, there are also plans to include leaderboards so pet owners can check out the progress of their canine pets against others.
A global scoreboard would increase competition and make things more exciting.
The Idea Behind Dog Games
Joipaw’s co-founder is Dersim Avdar. He is a lifelong gamer and initially wanted to create a dog game to keep his mixed breed dog Kawet busy when it wants more attention than he could give.
Soon, Avdar realized that his idea could be of greater aid to the health of dogs.
He read several studies, including one from 2017 that featured the results of several European researchers. The researchers tested simple touch-screen games on almost 300 dogs and 20 wolves. They found the games to be potentially beneficial for dogs with aging brains.
Avdar commented on the research saying,
“I’m taking the torch that these researchers lit and bringing it further.”
However, Avdar emphasized that his games are not meant to replace quality human-pet interaction time.
How Far Along Is The Research?
Research for such games on a dog’s health is “very promising”, according to Clara Mancini. She is a professor of animal-computer interaction at The Open University in the U.K. and works as a science adviser in Joipaw.
She believes that these games will be more beneficial that puzzle dog toys, as they can progressively get more difficult and challenge their brains more.
Joipaw is hopeful for their technology to help out suffering dogs, especially those with dementia or lack of activeness. However, Mancini acknowledges that more research is still required.
The Big Picture
Joipaw has a bigger vision to use the field of animal-computer interaction and create tech that can be beneficial for animals and help humans understand them better.
Mancini further comments on Joipaw’s vision saying,
“The idea is to try and develop technology that starts to reduce the gap between humans and animals rather than increase it.”