5 Video Games I Wish I Could Play With My Dog

I love dogs so much. These fluffy companions have been a mainstay in my life since I was a baby. Sure, I've met some dogs I didn't vibe with but plenty more have become a permanent part of my life. My pets, my friends' pets, and my family's pets are my family too.

When it comes to family, one way I enjoy bonding with people I care about is through video games. They are a significant part of who I am. Nothing fills me with more joy than introducing a family member to their next favorite digital pastime. So, of course, I yearn to share this experience with my favorite doggos as well.

5 Rock Band

FYI about me, I'm an actor and singer outside my job at TheGamer. And whenever I practice a new song or scene, my favorite scene partner to work with is my Great Pyrenes, Titan. First of all, he's a great listener. Second, he always brings in new choices. Finally, I never feel like he's judging my work. And as a duet partner, Titan can belt with the best of them!

Singing has always excited my dogs. I guess it resembles howling to them? So, if I could play a video game with a dog, Rock Band would be at the top of the list!

Still, a Dog Mode in Rock Band would require some adjustments. For instance, the scoring system needs to become more lenient. If the dog howls at the right time, it should get high marks. Leave the pitch out of it. In addition, Mad Catz needs to make a unique mic stand that sits low and has a slobber guard. But if Harmonix and co can pull it off, my dog and I are there!

All that's left is thinking up a name for my new rock duo. Hmmm…Let's see.

  • Short Man, Big Dog
  • Will Sing For Treats
  • The Great Pyr-sing Melodies

Ehhh, we'll get there.

4 Animal Shelter

One of the most satisfying experiences of a dog parent is watching a TV show or film with dogs in it and saying to your furry loved one, "look, it's you!!!" or "who's that?" We sincerely want our dog to believe another animal is magically in the house via the screen. This fascination is odd because we tend to buy into this illusion much more than our dogs.

I've noticed that dogs are a mixed bag regarding screen time. For instance, Titan will sit and watch TV with you, but he understands it's just a monitor. So, if a family member calls on a tablet, Titan won't greet the screen like that person is there. To him, that tablet is no more than a machine.

On the other hand, Lucy, my sister-in-law's dog, or my "dog-niece" as I refer to her, is highly receptive to seeing animals on TV. My sister-in-law will always play Animal Planet shows for Lucy's enjoyment. She also talks to Lucy and feeds her treats via a Furbo camera. So, Lucy understands screens as a tool for communication.

I don't think Titan would care if I played a game like Animal Shelter with him. But Lucy would love it. I would play this kind of game on my den couch while Lucy snuggles next to me and observes in awe. Although, I'll have to be careful when playing fetch with my rescues. Otherwise, Lucy may get an extreme case of the zoomies and bounce around the room like an out-of-control firecracker.

3 Rocket League

There's a straightforward explanation as to why I would play Rocket League with my dogs. That answer is balls.

Seriously, my dad found a play ball the size of a pomegranate in our basement yesterday. When he gave it to Titan, the canine was immediately invested. Suddenly, our large fluffy boy transformed into Pelé and dribbled the ball across our foyer. So, a game about bouncing a giant metal ball around an arena is right up Titan's alley.

2 Dance Dance Revolution

You'll understand my plight if you're a pet owner who tried to play DDR at home. Imagine grooving through Dynamite Rave on Heavy difficulty when, suddenly, you almost trip over your pet who has no spatial awareness. Then it takes ten minutes to escort your doggo out of the room so you can stomp on your plastic mat in peace. If only there were a better way!

I can't fault my dog for interrupting my DDR sessions. After all, he doesn't understand that I'm playing a video game. Or, if he does, he likely wishes to play along. Dogs love active play. So, a game about moving your feet like an NFL athlete in drills and calling it dancing is the perfect fit for these wolf descendants.

I'm not sure how Konami would adapt DDR for quadrupeds. Furthermore, I'm not sure how Konami could muster enough interest in the series for a new US console release. So I guess I'll have to settle for Stepmania with my dog instead?

1 Anything VR

I'm curious to see how my dog would react to virtual reality. Yet, there are so many particulars about it that make me hesitant. For instance, would my dog find a VR headset uncomfortable? Or would they get too excited, run around the room, and knock something over? How safe is VR for dogs?

There are examples of dogs enjoying a safe, controlled VR experience, such as Max, the YouTube-famous VR dog. So, if an AKC-certified VR headset were designed in collaboration with dog experts, I would feel at ease.

If I could give Titan a safe VR experience, I would. After all, being such a giant breed, he can't travel to many places. However, VR technology would allow him to experience the far reaches of the world in his short lifespan.

Furthermore, what if VR can become a training tool for dogs? For instance, my dog niece, Lucy, loves people but gets hostile around other dogs. Maybe if there was a way she could interact with virtual dogs first, the extra exposure could help her adjust better to meeting new furry friends.

I think VR will become accessible to pets one day. And I, for one, can't wait!

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