Saturday, December 10, 2011

For Christmas, I adopted a Tamagotchi.

I found this egg-like trinket in my endless pile of debris I've purposely left to die, but as soon as it was discovered I was shocked and insulted I even considered the thought.

This is a Tamagotchi. From 2004. The reign and popularity of these virtual pets hit their peak way before, I think? It's a question I'm not too bothered to resolve, because the bigger question is why I even bought this seven years ago.

I think I was bored. Or curious. I can't imagine being that desperate and lonely in my life where a digital animal would bring cheer and well-being, but you never know. Damn things are too cute.

Tamagotchi is a digital pet. You control, feed and entertain your pixelated pal with a few commands, the main goal in point being to keep it alive and healthy. It'll walk back and forth, jump a few times, shed robotic tears, etc. It is, essentially, a large and annoying task you've willingly created for yourself.

For anyone under the age of twelve, owning your own computer critter sounds like a blast. Hell, at twenty, I fell for it. Who wouldn't want something to love and to take care of? The perk is that you can throw it in your closet once the love runs out! Awesome!

Does kids like these things today? Not so sure. With handheld video games allowing you to play with dogs or shoot your friends in the face, it's pretty obsolete. Although the idea of covertly carrying around and keeping your New Best Friend by your side is comforting at best (for the good times and the bad) I don't think there's quite the demand anymore for a pixelated mutt you can keep in your pocket and be stressed out over.

Since encountering this lost treasure, I've been carrying it around with me on tour, just in case I got the wild urge to pull the tab and bring this beast to life. Say what you want, snicker and guffaw if you must, but when you're in a van for seven hours straight, tired, bored and crazed, a Tamagotchi is the greatest Goddamn thing on planet Earth.

Well, the tab's already been pulled. You know that tab I'm talking about, right? The one that keeps the battery from touching the other electronical parts and I hope you know what I mean because I can't for the life of me explain it. I'm not troubled enough to keep pushing the matter, but for all intents and purposes, it's the LIFE TAB. It's the piece of plastic that seperates you from mortal men. Once you take the step to become God, there's no turning back. Tamagotchi is born.

It's been bouncing around in my bag long enough to have the tab be pulled by itself, actually. And because of it, I feel like it's a sign. I feel like Tamagotchi wants, needs to be brought into existence. It needs me, as proud father and trusting, supporting confidant. We'll throw around a football and I'll let it drink a sip of my beer on it's birthday.

Also, it's Christmas. And in the spirit of Christmas, I'm doing all that is good and beautiful and saintly -- I'm adopting a virtual pet. I'm nearly on par with Mother Teresa.

So, hello, nice to meet your acquaintance. Ah, I see that you are still an egg. You aren't a mammal, and that's fine, because I never had a pet lizard or snake growing up. Which is fine, too, because lizards and snakes are scary and disgusting.

For the love of all that is holy, please be a Yoshi.

To make things more personal, you can enter the date, time and your name. Since there's only three buttons two sizes two small to punch in data, I had a hell of a hard time typing "BOBBY." I got far from close, which got me frustrated, which then allowed me to negotiate with myself and reluctantly settle on "COI." This, I swear, took about forty-five minutes. Which is about the same amount of time it takes for the little bastard to hatch.

I waited. I waited some more. I all but gave up on this entire update until...

...he was born!

Good thing Tamagotchi told me it was a BOY, otherwise I might've dressed him up in training bras and scrunchies, and that would be a plain ol' mess.

What is it? Hard to say. Right now, I understand that this is the beginning stages, and soon it'll start morphing into an animal of sorts. Now, if it does grow into anything more than an ink drop, I'll never know, because this has already weighed too much on my nerves and I haven't even fed it yet and it's going away from my face right now.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I named him "CHOOB." It's a cross between "poop" and "boob." Please don't let me explain myself.

Anyways, you press buttons. I think you can play with it, keep it company and yes, feed it, but I don't know how. It might be obvious, it might not be. All I know is that it beeps. A lot. When it's not consistently beeping, it's beeping. There is no end to the beeping. It's on a keychain, too, for beeps on the go.

Beep this, bitch:

That? That's my junk drawer. It's where CHOOB lives now. Don't feel sorry for CHOOB, he's next to the fridge and it's not like I won't visit him from time to time. He's in a drawer next to the bottle openers and forks, so there's more than enough reason to check in on him, even if I don't want to. Which I don't. But I guess that's the name of the game with Tamagotchi. You didn't come with a "reset" button for nothin', CHOOB!

See you next Christmas, little buddy!


  1. I bought a bunch of these when they first came out. I still have the alien and the dinosaur probably in a drawer somewhere, batteries long ago toast. The alien was absolutely adorable but the bad thing is that as long as you keep feeding it, it will live forever, until you get tired of it and then it shows it dying with a little ghost and a tombstone. Tragic! That thought was enough to keep me obeying it's every command and beep!

  2. back in college a bunch of my gang got the more manly version of the Tomagotchi, the Digimon. you could make them fight. we killed so many virtual animals in the 2 weeks it took us to get bored of them.

  3. I was going to reply with how I went though this horrible phase in high school where I was the weird loser with a devilgotch and the set of tamagotchis that actually had male and female usb ports so they could do the virtual nasty and how wrong that was on every level. Ever.

    But then firefox's spellcheck function kept prompting me to correct my spelling to 'masochistic' whenever I typed the word 'tamagotchis.'

    I think it's better this way.

  4. Andrew, that sounds fun! Sad and weird...but FUN! Ha!

  5. So, Dr. Frankencalabrese... Now that you've given life to this little creature and crassly tossed it aside, be sure to keep close tabs on the Mrs. We've seen the movie(s) and read the book, so we know the plot all too well. You don't want the vengeful Frankenchoob taking it out on the family, do you?

  6. Wow, really nice post. I love this marvelous virtual toy Kamagotchi. I have just ordered this at PIJ. I hope I will get this in a week. Your posted images really gorgeous and I love them very much. Thanks for your brillaint share.