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11 août 2006

Kanzi playing Pac Man

Recently a video featuring an ape who could play "Pac-Man" did the rounds. Around 300,000 people watched it on YouTube. But who was that ape? A GameFile investigation reveals that the primate is a 25-year-old bonobo ape named Kanzi who now lives on a reservation at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa.

The clip was extracted from an early-'90s Japanese documentary called "Kanzi: An Ape of Genius," which demonstrated the ape's linguistic skills, said to be equivalent to a 2-and-a-half-year-old child. Kanzi's official bio notes that he "has also demonstrated his musical skills, having played with Sir Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel." What it doesn't note is whether scientists have determined whether his "Pac-Man" skills are also equivalent to those of a 2-and-a-half-year-old child — or to those of Paul McCartney. ...

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