Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hometown Memories: The Digital Pet

When my older daughter was in kindergarten or first grade, she had one of those handheld digital pet devices like the Tamagotchi, although I don't think it was Tamagotchi, maybe some other brand. Perhaps the Giga or Nano brand. Anyhow...

Her digital pet was a little puppy whose needs had to be met, so it can grow bigger. It had to be fed, bathed, exercised, disciplined, toilet trained and nursed back to health when it got sick. And if you didn't care for it properly, it would get sick and die. This could happen in less than half a day, so you really had to be on the ball.


This was quite a lot of responsibility but my daughter, a child that took responsibility very seriously, did a great job. The puppy was happy, it thrived and grew steadily into a larger dog. And since the kids weren't allowed to take these toys to school (for obvious reasons), my daughter entrusted that little 'pet' to me. While she was in the classroom, I looked after it. And did a good job. Until the day that I forgot about it completely and saw the message "goodbye" flashing on the screen, which indicated that the 'pet' had died.

So what did I do? I wimped out and lied. I started the game over and told my daughter when she got home from school that her dog had grown up and had babies of its own and now we had a new puppy to take care of. I held my breath and waited for her reaction. She stared at me for the longest time as she analyzed the story in her six-year-old mind...and finally nodded. A new puppy would be fun. I'd gotten away with it but I felt really guilty. Over a virtual flippin' pet! Years later, I confessed to my daughter what really happened and we both had a good laugh over it. All was forgiven!

Do you remember these toys?

35 comments:

  1. I do, I don't remember if our two had them though? Great story, and a great "rescue" story!

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    1. They were quite popular at the time. A lot of kids had them.

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  2. Yes, I remember them. At an office xmas party, one of my co-workers got one of these in the gift exchange. She tossed it out the window later as she drove home, I learned. LOL!

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  3. I never heard of these, Martha. Could be because I didn't have children!!
    A great teaching tool for kids......and their mother!! lol

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    1. Well that would do it, Jim, although even some grownups had them :)

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  4. LOL, too cute :)My kids had these toys too and I remember being the "care giver" for them while they were at school. I think I took better care of them than they did :) Great memories!

    betty

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    1. I think a lot of parents ended up providing care for these 'virtual' pets!

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  5. I had never heard of them. Too bad the game couldn't just be paused whenever a child went to school! Glad she was ok with the new puppy. :)

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    1. I know, right? Although I think they were trying to teach that pets don't have a pause button.

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  6. Oh this brings back memories....both my kids had these things too when they were in grade school. They used to take them to school, until another girl stole my daughter's.

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    1. That is awful! Your daughter must have been so upset.

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  7. I don't remember these toys. I'm not sure if I'd like playing with one.
    But it seems like a fun way to teach responsibility.

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    1. They were somewhat fun but it could get tiring very fast!

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  8. hahahah good one! I forgot how annoying those things were in the classroom with kids trying to hide them. Not every mom was a nice as you!

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    1. You're not the first teacher that was annoyed by them. They could be very distracting!

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  9. I remember my Daughter having one of these, what like, nineteen ninety something? It didn't last long. I do not think we ever really figured it out really good. Needless to say it died. They were a big thing at one time. Thanks for bringing back a little memory. Been looking around on your blog and love it. Hope you will come visit me too soon.
    Lisa

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. I am now a follower of your blog and I'm looking forward to your posts!

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  10. I remember them , We sold them in the toys section of the department store I worked in, my boys weren't into them it was mostly a girl thing lol ! My how things change and come and go ! Have a good day !

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  11. Hahaha! I like your version of the story. :-)

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  12. I do remember those toys, we didn't do that well with them after a bit. That's such a funny story Martha!

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    1. I enjoy looking back to a time when my kids were so young!

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  13. Oh ... goodness I do remember these, although guess we were fortunate in that the kids didn't have them !!!

    Hope your week is going well

    All the best Jan

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  14. I think most people have a situation like yours when a trick is pulled on some innocent little kid. Yes we do even things up later and it's usually positive. Now how many little lies did you tell your folks?

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  15. I think one of the reasons they were a fad was because they were difficult. It shouldn't be harder to raise a digital pet than a real one.

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    1. Indeed, Adam. These virtual pets weren't very realistic. It was so hard to keep these pets alive and well!

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  16. I stole 2 tamagoichis several years ago. I am just evil.

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    1. Did you steal them from a child? That's when you're evil :)

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