Rats: Nature’s Gamers

As I have mentioned a couple of times I recently became a rat owner. My present from my wife for Solstice was three baby rats. We’ve named them Bartleby, Loki and Rufus. It has amazed me how they are each so individual and even having only had them for a few months they have really become a part of the family.

Bartleby is the white one and has always been the bravest and most interested in humans while Loki, the brown one, is the most timid. Rufus is very loving when he wants to be but is also the toughest and most willing to scrum with the other two. Bartleby also kind of reminds me of Remy from Ratatouille in that he has become a bit of a picky eater.

Why rats are like gamers

Rats in Heroscape Castle
Apparently Rufus is a bit camera shy.

Several things come to mind as I try to bring relevance to this rather gratuitous excuse to post cute pictures of my pets on a gaming blog.

One of the more humorous examples of why rats are like gamers is that they love junk food. Like humans, rats can eat almost anything but they tend to prefer food that isn’t good for them like Yogies and other sweats. Thankfully mine also like Cheerios which aren’t too bad for them and they will accept as a treat.

A beef I have right now with Magic is that rats are always depicted as being “evil” on their cards. Even wild rats are far from malicious and tend to avoid people whenever they can. While wolves have been removed from their traditional spot of pariah, rats have not made the same jump and I find this unfortunate.

While their “games” are not like ours there can be no doubt that another good example of why rats are like gamers is the fact that they like to play. Ratty games tend to be more along the lines of Hide and Seek or Rat Toss (like playing fetch with a dog except you toss the rat and he runs back for more) than Magic: The Gathering.

In general rats tend to have very gamerish personalities. They are stubborn, inquisitive and playful and I think most gamers represent these qualities to some degree or other.

Here are a couple pictures of my boys playing on a Heroscape board.

Bartleby in Heroscape Tower
Bartleby certainly thinks he is king of the castle.

If you are interested in knowing more about Fancy Rats feel free to contact me!


    I kind of want to include a rat god in my Scion game but I know that my players would see to easily that I could never include a bad guy rat in my game and I fear that might disrupt the story.

    “In old Japan, rats had it good because a white rat was a messenger of one of the seven gods of luck, Daikoku. Because of this connection, they were not killed. The story goes that a rat couple wanted the strongest husband in the world for their daughter. They asked the sun who declined saying that clouds had more power because they could cover him up. When they asked a cloud, he responded, “The wind is stronger than I because it can blow me away.” The wind could not make the grade either. “The wall stops me cold,” he said. And the wall, though honored by the offer wailed, “The rat is stronger. He can bore a hole right through me.” So the couple wisely gave their daughter in marriage to another rat who was indeed the strongest creature of them all.”