Your next question is probably why? Well, the goal wasn’t just to get rodents way into Doom II. Instead, Tóth hopes to make future VR experiments using rodents cheaper, more accessible, and less stressful for the test subject.

“The promise of the project is a relatively cheap (<$2000) VR setup that automatically trains rodents to traverse 3D environments without restraining them too much,” writes Tóth, “While refraining from surgical procedures to provide the least stressful circumstances for them. Rodent VR rigs have had their presence in neuroscience experiments in the past; I hope to see more such studies to come!”

Oh and before I end this blog, I should mention the names of the 8 week-old Long Evans rats used in the experiment. They are, fittingly, Carmack, Romero, and Tom—some of the main devs behind the iconic original Doom. According to Tóth, Romero was fearless, Carmack was often seen building things around his home and Hall was shy, but ended up doing very well in the VR rig.