One of the favorite toys of the 90s were Tamagotchis, and I can’t help but feel incredibly guilty when thinking about my own virtual pet experience. There was something fantastic about caring for a blob with eyes on a screen, enclosed in a plastic egg attached to a handy keychain. The life of this poorly animated tech pet was in my hands… Without me he would die, and I vowed to never let that happened. Unfortunately, that vow was broken after a week of having it.
Turns out, the little guy was incredibly needy. At first, cleaning up digital poop, feeding it digital food, and its constant begging of attention was all really adorable and good fun. Soon that cuteness turned into an annoying chore, and as a kid, I avoided real life annoying chores as much as possible… Why was I opting for extra work? So I stopped tending to all of my pet’s needs, and then within a couple days, it became terminally ill. Its health status showed that it had become sick due to lack of hygiene and starvation. There was nothing I could do- it was too late. Suddenly, I felt terrible that I had abandoned the poor little guy. He was going to die because I’m an awful irresponsible parent- it was all my fault. As I watched my tamagotchi take his final breath, I felt sad for a few moments and then pressed the reset button on the back to start over. I was going to provide a new and better life for my pet this time. But, it almost seemed that my pet was even more needy than he was in his last life. Again, I quickly became annoyed, abandoned it and left it to die.
The tamagotchi was created to teach kids in a “fun” way of how to be responsible and care for a living pet. The only thing is, real living pets don’t have a reset button on their backs if they die, and not caring for them would be considered animal abuse. Luckily, the ASPCA has yet to say anything about my past history of tamagotchi abuse.