The Pig Simulator Master Thesis - English Version


To what extent can the virtual embodiment of other living beings or objects lead to an influencing of the real consciousness and feeling?

The aim of the work is to create a simulation that enables us to put ourselves into the perspective of another living being and to act in this role. The goal is to provide the user with a unique perspective that helps him or her to better understand and even feel the life reality of the simulated creature. The aim is to physically perceive the depicted reality by means of virtual reality.

Against the backdrop of today’s global competitive situation between players1 of all kinds, the unequal living conditions are becoming clearer than ever. Many conflicts arise when superordinate actors act, but accept consciously or unconsciously, when subordinate actors are disadvantaged, tortured or even consumed.


I will not allow myself to improve this situation. With my work I want to create a new perspective that would not be possible without Virtual Reality2. It is interesting to be able to switch interactively between these actors in order to gain a contrasting perspective and a new awareness for the other actors.


As you can deduce from the name “THE PIG SIMULATOR”, I have decided to take a look at the following topics determined to take a step out of the life of a pig simulate. More specifically, it’s the last part of most people’s lives. Pigs, namely the journey as farm animals from the slaughterhouse to the refrigerator. Of course, at this point I would have a human being as the target medium for the embodiment. Especially with regard to empathy and the current situation in Germany, it would be very interesting to find the way of the refugees, or simulate similar things. But I still found the perspective of an animal more interesting, since it is largely unknown; it only exists in people’s imagination, as we don’t use the literal language of the animals. understand. Even as a child, I felt the need to get into my dog. and often asked me how he could understand the everyday things inside of me. of the family and even wrote a short story in primary school. about it.

When I was writing, history presented me as an ego-perspective from the point of view of my own self. pets and tried to explain the dog’s lack of understanding for typical human activities, such as doing homework or watching TV. articulate. The aim was the narrative immersion of the reader in his or her role as a Dog. Later on I developed a concept called “Ego Dog”, which is the life of a dog. To simulate dogs from the first person perspective in a 3D computer game should. I didn’t realize this idea.

I would like to venture a larger experiment with the master thesis.

The process of mass industrial killing of animals is without doubt cruel and profit-oriented calculation. Many people have Compassion with the animals and therefore become vegetarians or vegans. There I don’t want to persuade anyone at work to become vegan, I leave it here. while you’re doing it. Nevertheless, it is interesting, because in my opinion the very few people are actually aware of this process. The meat takes as forms that no longer permit associations with the origin. These are to be found, for example, in the refrigerated shelves of supermarkets in large quantities, and are offered for sale in a consumer-optimized product form. The ratio to the animal is very distorted and far from nature. On the one hand only the end product (food) and the banalizing one, the stunning depiction of animals in films, comics, games, and in the film industry. Advertising, etc. The reality is at most partly made of cinematic documentaries.

So it is hard to imagine that the sausage on the bread before a living one, thinking and feeling creature with its own view of things. The social integration of the farm animal has been lost. The Responsibility for the breeding of the animals and their deaths was transferred to profit-orientated large corporations and other quantitatively profiting groups of companies that act profitably.

The Pig Simulator is supposed to follow a documentary approach. So it will be a typical narrative, such as:”The pig will find a way to find the right story for you. vulnerability in the system and may break out, overwhelm all butchers and then free all the other pigs. The interactivity of the simulation is a Illusion or a disillusionment for the user of the simulator. The Fate of the pig is unavoidable, just like in reality.

Through the immersive Virtual Reality technology, the user will be able to create a very tight virtual reality environment. the connection with the pig and, in the ideal case, even acts as a “pork blender”. virtual pig feel, both in physical and psychological sensations. Respect. When the user then hangs on the hook, he will be able to use the rocking Movement intended to overcome a feeling of nausea. The immersion becomes so larger. The agonizing suffering of the virtual pig becomes physically and psychologically into reality at the same time. In this way, the expectations of an Typical “comfortable” VR experience deceived or more aptly said radically will be disappointed. But this is done with full intention.

It is up to the user to decide which lessons he wants to learn from the experience, because the work has a documentary claim. There should be no evaluation for or against meat consumption. It shows what is actually most of the at the end of their lives. The rational cruelty of the Therefore, methods must only be used as a side effect of our globalized society. A strong element is the Representation of the machine and its ruthless mechanics. We as pigs represent only the material for this machine. On the other hand, we use a machine (PC and Virtual Reality) to maintain the connection to the user. and to better understand the real pig, which in turn is a very special experience. aspect. players.

Nevertheless, it would be interesting if you could see the reactions and thoughts of the users at the at the end of the experience.


Since this work is a practical and artistic work unfortunately, it is not possible to discuss topics such as empathy, embodiment, Consciousness and the animal pig sufficiently scientific study. This would be the task of other work carried out by specialists in these fields.

Nevertheless, I would like to comment on the individual areas with short definitions and explain why they’re important to my work.

3.1 Empathy

To put it in English, compassion means the ability of one or more of the following Individuals to put themselves in the position of others, to understand their perspective and feelings. So, as the word compassion says, that’s what this is about, to empathize with something. The word “with” expresses the common ground here, i. e. with of another person or being. The Noun Pity and the corresponding verb has the same meaning. [^3]


For the Pig Simulator, empathy is a central element and for both the killed ego-self-pig, as well as for the topic of the industrial of animal slaughtering alone. The same goes for the other pigs that have been given to the user to the grave. This is how most potential users react is shocked at the idea of the Pig Simulator.

3.2 Embodiment

[Research again what this is] (embodying)1 describes the Transfer of one’s own consciousness into another body. In the case of the pigment Simualtor the transfer of the user into the pig. A binding graphic The element here is the trunk of the pig, which can be seen at any time in the field of vision of the pig. Users is. The embodiment is perfect. The long-learned iconography of the always visible pig’s nose lays a permanent anchor to the self-pig Identification. This works especially well, because the user is able to use the VR glasses

human nose no longer perceives and replaces it with the pig’s nose will be.

University Press, 2005.

3.3 Awareness

Consciousness is a controversial component of the Pig Simulator. We assume that the pig has consciousness. In my opinion, a pig quite clearly a consciousness, yet it is questionable whether there is a consciousness is comparable to that of a human being. Unfortunately, you can’t do it because we can’t translate the language of the pigs. So my thesis is falsifiable and can be attacked at this point, when we transfer a human consciousness into the body of the pig; let’s go a human consciousness into a pig in reality. transferred. Could the pig escape the machine?

Pic2 - Domestic pigs on the farm


3.4 pigs

Pigs play the leading role in my work. Pigs are proven to be very intelligent and sensitive animals. They live in social groups, prefer physical proximity. You have genetically seen an extraordinarily close resemblance to humans. Already at an early stage in human history they are domesticated and kept as farm animals3. Today, with xxx millions of pigs slaughtered each year represent a large proportion of the human population. Nutrition. The average meat-eating German eats about XXX Pigs per year. Pork is found in almost all forms. the dead pigs are almost completely recycled. Even in road pavements, the components of the pig. Beginning in the XXX years, the meat industry has increasingly been transformed into a mass industry in order to meet the demands of the food industry. increased by the general prosperity of the population, the daily demand for cheaper food and beverages increased. to cover the meat. This does not have many positive effects. The animals in particular are the ones who suffer most. Reasons are the unnatural mass husbandry, underpaid and stressed staff, cruelty in the treatment. In particular, the agonizing and mass optimized Slaughtering animals is an obvious and understandable point of criticism.

… Retrieved September 11,2016, from

Where, on the other hand, the meat industry is experiencing annual increases in sales and profits in billion, and is supported, for example, by sponsoring and charity. of football clubs, the favour of the general public and politicians. developed. Last but not least, the meat industry offers a large number of jobs for those working under collective bargaining agreements and in poor conditions specialists.


The creation of a real-time 3D application using virtual reality devices. Reality compatible, is enormously complex and laborious. It’s not too late. compared to a 3D animation that is only rendered and used as a film. is saved.

The simulation is an interactive application that can be run on a Wide range of devices with a constant and high refresh rate (Oculus Rift DK2 75 fps). Enormous number of disciplines such as programming, Scripting, modelling, texturing, rigging, animation must be focused on the following points work together. There is a permanent risk of a software update or bugs, causing the application to suddenly become incompatible on certain devices. can be made.

In addition, the VR technology is currently undergoing further development in what is likely to be a long time to come. a period of constant change. Almost every day there are new announcements and Insights. Hard- and software platforms are competing in a competitive battle for the market dominance. We are constantly improving and even completely new ones. platforms. This makes the development particularly precarious, because nobody can say at this point in time which VR platform will prevail will determine whether one will prevail at all, or whether everything else will soon be successful. by the next disruptive technology in this field.

That’s why the exact research on this project is so important. Due to the the fact that the project is realized exclusively by me, there are little leeway for changes. Every time the system is changed, a cascade of other changes, costing time and possibly the same amount of time. endanger the entire project.

The research for the project focuses on the facts of today’s world. Meat industry. The process of slaughtering the pig is the most important. It should be reconstructed as far as the investigations allow. The The characteristics of pigs themselves must be researched in order to achieve a convincing and convincing result. virtual representation of the animal. And of course it’s important, to reinforce the basic thesis of this work. Last but not least the works of other artists.


5.0 Empathy for animals

As already mentioned in the introduction, the empathy for the pig is an important factor for the pig. central point of my simulation.

It is probably true that the issue of empathy is heavily preoccupied. That’s how it is psychologically difficult to define and is therefore often used in the media on a daily basis. Kitchen psychology4 Reduced level. Often, to use it in seminars as a Self-Improvement[^8] tool into a monetisable product. Especially in the marketing campaigns of countless animal welfare organisations human empathy is the commercial heart of the game. Because without that bad conscience, the compassion that they felt for the images of violated children. would people would never donate money. Of course this is manipulative and instrumentalizes elementary instincts.



Nevertheless, I am aware that the empathy and the shocking element of a central point for most (hopefully numerous) users of the Pig Simulator will be. There’s no way around it. Accordingly, I would like to join the approach the topic in a way that is as relevant as possible, in order to make sure that it is relevant for the future justification, marketing and further development.

An effective tool to enhance the social relevance of my concept. is the tool Google Trends. Since the search engine of Google worldwide the statistics are extremely representative. Unfortunately, they only cover a period of about 10 years.

The values are given in relative (in percent). So it’s taken into account that there are 2004 probably gave a lot less “googler” than 2016.

Google Trends for the search term “Empathy

GoogleTrends_empathy. PNG

As you can see, the interest in Google’s empathy grows constantly a

  1. Gibbs Jr, Raymond W. Embodiment and cognitive science. Cambridge ↩︎

  2. Retrieved from ↩︎

  3. (2012). History of the domestic pig: On the pig came | knowledge ↩︎

  4. “Everyday psychology - Wikipedia.” 2011.3 Mar. 2016 ↩︎

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