Adults Lose Video Game ... to a Chimp

Chimpanzees play as fast as kindergarten kids
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 12, 2014 4:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Maybe the struggling Nintendo should market to apes. A 22-year-old chimpanzee performed better than 12 kids and four adults in a virtual-reality maze, a study found. In terms of speed, the chimps were generally on par with children aged 3 to 6 in the group. But when it came to taking the shortest distance on the hardest maze, Panzee, a female, was the champion, LiveScience reports.

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The game involved wandering through alleys where walls were marked with colored symbols. Blue squares meant players were headed in the right direction; brown triangles meant the opposite. Humans had 10 to 20 hours of training to chimps' five to 10—but chimps were already familiar with similar virtual reality gaming. Interestingly, "in the small number of studies I’ve done, females do better than males" on such games, says a researcher. That may be because of challenges females face in the wild as they compete with groups of males for food. (Read more chimpanzees stories.)

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