It is Freeform Friday on our 25 days of 90’s Nostalgia so I am stepping in to discuss The Tamagotchi. Created by the Japanese toy making company Bandai, the Tamagotchi hit shelves in the USA in 1997. The toy was a magical egg that let 12 year-olds foster their own alien baby; all they had to do was listen to it’s insensate beeping to help them remember to feed, bathe, play with, and discipline it. It all sounds easy until you leave your Tamagotchi home for a few hours, and after over 100 days of constant care, find your baby alien had passed on to the afterlife.
There ended up being over 40 different versions of the toy, and in future iterations you could connect two devices to “mate” your Tamagotchis. There were plenty of knock off Tamagotchis as well, allowing kids to raise dinosaurs and various other animals. Having control over virtual life was the great gift technology gave us 90s kids with The Sims, NeoPets, Tamagotchi and more. These toys and games taught important lessons on responsibility, the life cycle, and most of all frustration.
At the time, there were serious concerns that children walking around having to check an electronic device all day would be distracting and take away from their everyday interactions. Personally, I always had two attached to the belt loops of my flare jeans, and made it out of the 90s almost completely intact. Today, we know this was only the beginning for portable electronics and wearables.
As an adult I have recently revisited the Tamagotchi with their new phone app. My husband even suggested that keeping one alive would prove if I was ready for children or not. (Katie’s husband is a jerk. – EDITOR) After a few weeks of playing around with my Tamagotchi, I’m left feeling like I shouldn’t even own a goldfish. Even though I may not be a great Tamagotchi-mommy, I can see why this simple game was so popular that it still holds quite a following today.