It's official — dogs are now better at video games than humans

Shiba Inu speedrun
(Image credit: Nintendo / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s no secret that dogs are vastly superior to human beings in pretty much every way imaginable. This is in no way news. What is news is that our loyal pooch pals are apparently now better at video games than us… or at least weirdly good at speedrunning old school platformers. 

Games Done Quick is a semi-annual charity marathon that is famous for hosting quirky speedruns. Yet as cool and quirky as it is watching a bunch of folk trying to rush through a game while blindfolded, nothing can quite compare with the sight of a Shiba Inu attempting to smash its adorable paws through a NES game (thanks, Engadget) that’s as old as this 38-year-old writer.

Said Shiba’s name is Peanut Butter, and their human owner (Youtuber JSR), frequently refers to them as ‘PB’ — shorthand for ‘personal best’. The game in question this awesome doggo will attempt to speedrun for charity is Gyromite: a platformer where a chap called Professor Hector must scramble through the various layers of his 8-bit laboratory in a quest to diffuse dynamite. 

That would be a great premise for a game released in 2023, let alone one that launched in 1985 when I was still in the womb. Anyway, watch in awe as this pro level pupper finishes the entire game in just 25 minutes and 28 seconds. For context, according to How Long to Beat, the average person takes over an hour to complete this overlooked NES gem…

Pretty dang impressive, no? 

In order to achieve this mind-bending feat, JSR admitted to coaxing Peanut Butter to play ball by offering it treats. The dog then subsequently used a custom NES controller to complete Gyromite in under thirty minutes, which again, blows my teeny mind. JSR also claims this mighty four-legged feat was pulled off with “no assistance, autofire, macros or save states”, and who am I to question the word of the owner of such an awesome pooch? 

PB will attempt to beat their, well, ‘PB’ at the next Games Done Quick event, which will be hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in January 2024. Sadly for those attending in-person, the three-year-old Shiba will be attempting its speedrun remotely.

Still, if there’s a more wholesome story on the interwebs today than a canny canine speedrunning a game for charity, I don’t want to read it.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.