Imagine you’re playing a video game. You’re interacting with a host of characters and taking advantage of the game’s elegant world-building, scope, and verisimilitude. You come across a dog. You’d very much like to pet it. But there’s one thing standing in your way: The game simply won’t allow it.
Enter @CanYouPetTheDog, a brand new Twitter account that answers an urgent question for every gamer: Which games let you pet those very good boys and girls? It reveals whether dogs in popular video games are “pettable” or “non-pettable.” In order to meet the pettable qualification, the account’s bio explains, “a manual button press resulting in visual representation of petting is required.”
Communicating via email, the creator of the account said that the idea was born out of personal annoyance. “I was playing The Division 2 beta when I found an unpettable dog, which frustrated me,” they said. “I saw others making similar complaints, which helped validate my feelings. I thought it would be helpful to establish which games contain pettable dogs and which do not.”
Games that qualify include WarioWare, Assassin’s Creed III, and Final Fantasy VIII, while the dogs in games like Spelunky and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are, despite their cuteness, unfortunately not available to pet. Each post on the account is accompanied by a photo or GIF demonstration. To select the games that would be featured, the creator began with “a list based on my own personal experiences with games, along with some light research done prior to making the account.” But since the account took off—it’s currently at 29,500 followers and rising—hundreds of people have reached out with further suggestions.
@CanYouPetTheDog’s swift popularity came as a surprise. “I had no idea it would succeed at this speed and intensity,” the creator said. And while demand for pettable video game dogs can only rise, the account’s longevity will depend on supply. “The number of pettable dogs in games is unfortunately finite, but with good luck I will find reason to continue posting with a slow trickle of relevant new game releases.”
As for now, gamers everywhere can benefit from the account’s valuable work. For the owner, “It is comforting to know that so many others share my views when it comes to the importance of pettable dogs in video games.”