What was better than a pet dog? A dog that wasn’t real! it had all the benefits… you could feed it, play with it, and watch it grow. Whether is was a cheap imitation or a more popular brand, there was nothing that compared to that nurturing feeling you got from a digital pet. The goal was to keep it alive as long as possible and to help it grow into older stages. Unfortunately, death was difficult to avoid, and I never saw mine get very old. Other friends who were successful inspired me to keep trying, but eventually I lost mine (which was easy to do because of its size). Believe it or not, they are still around today!
First appearing in 1996, these Japanese key chains sold like hot cakes. This simple toy could keep a kid entertained for hours. With just three buttons on the simple egg shaped toy that fit in the palm of your hand, you could feed you pet, play games, clean up after it, check its stats, and connect with friends. They made little electronic noises to signify happy or sad. And they were so cute when they slept! Who could forget when McDonalds put toy Tamagotchis in their Happy Meals? The quality of these has definitely improved over the years after looking them up online.
The first Giga Pets included the Bit Critter, Compu Kitty, Digital Doggie, and Micro Chimp. The name was much easier to say than “Tamagotchi” but didn’t sound nearly as cool. The concept was a the same, but with cooler things to have as pets. The graphics were better, but not by much. The toy in general was a much better quality, had more options, and better aesthetics. I remember having the Digital Doggie.
Teachers were smart and caught on to us having them at school and wouldn’t let you bring them. Little did they know they’d soon be having to deal with cell phones! Many of us put our trust in our parents to keep watch over them during the day only to come back home and find that our critter had died due to lack of attention. Our parent’s just didn’t understand the dedication that was necessary to keep these digital pets alive!
Which one did you prefer or which ones did you have?
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