I can’t remember what made me think of these the other day but when I was in maybe Grade 6 in Primary School, Tamagotchi’s spread through all the kids like wildfire; everyone wanted one!
I definitely wanted one. I wasn’t allowed to have a real pet so why not a make believe one? I actually didn’t get a Tamagotchi, but I got one of the other competitor brands, though for the life of me I can’t remember what the brand was now.
But they were all the same sort of thing, you have a digital animal that hatches out of an egg and you have to take care of it. By taking care of it you have to feed it, play with it, clean up after it and train it. The pet grew up, went through various life stages, and if you were lucky enough not to kill it somewhere along the way, then it would just eventually die of old age and then you hatch another pet!
Interestingly though, I was reading about Tamagotchi’s on Wikipedia and apparently there was a lot of concern from adults about Tamagotchi’s and what impacts they might have on children. For instance, some were concerned that children could form attachments to a non-sentient being which may draw away from real life pets or relationships, and become devastated when their fake pet died. Or even one of the Tamagotchi’s had a game on it that one politician thought should make it rated an R18+ game for fear that it could turn children into the gamblers of tomorrow. Part of me really wonders if that’s actually the case, or if it just takes an adult mind to come up with that shit, cos I tell ya now, it didn’t affect me in that way… But then I’m no child psychologist either so maybe there are children out there who may be susceptible to that kind of thing.
Did you have a Tamagotchi, or do your kids have one of the more recent versions of them? What are your thoughts and experiences with them?