Sunday, March 17, 2013

Friskies Cat Food seek iPad Game for Cats

Photo credit: rautiocination

OK we have had enough of apps and games for the humans. Let us now have something for the animals as well.

Am I joking? Well many would think that way - Purina, maker of Friskies cat food, is offering $15,000 to the programmer who can capture a cat's attention even better than a laser pointer and a white wall.

Tablet games for cats are still a relatively new phenomenon, but Purina wants to stay on top of the trend. The company has already developed eight cat-centric games for iOS, with Android or online versions for five of them. One title, "You vs. Cat," even invites you to compete with your furry friend in an item-flinging contest. Currently, cats dominate the leaderboards.

It may be added that Apps for cats tend to be simple in scope, and mimic activities that domestic cats enjoy in real life. "CatFishing" displays a goldfish swimming just below the "surface" of the tablet's screen, producing ripples as the cat moves its paw around. "Happy Wings" presents a similar idea, allowing cats to bat around moths, tallying their score as they do.

To encourage more titles, Purina will host the first-ever Games for Cats Hackathon in Venice Beach, Calif., on March 23-24. Enterprising programmers can register now to spend all day Saturday and a half-day Sunday designing an app, start to finish, with house-cats in mind. Although it costs $20 to enter, the event will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, which is a better deal than you can get just about anywhere else in Los Angeles.


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