Why Do We Get So Attached To Our Virtual Pets?

02-14-2018, 08:13 PM,

You’ve heard all about the importance of ‘emotional support peacocks’ but lest we forget the virtual pets who have come and gone from our lives.

There are certain topics that are guaranteed to get a massive response. And who knew, virtual pets and the many/horrible ways we’ve let them die, is one of them. A lot of feelings resurfaced when talk turned to the virtual pet friends we made along the way. There was guilt, there were fond memories, lots of longing for a simpler time and pure liquid unexamined grief that had been left to ferment over a decade.

☏ Back in 94/95 I jumped in the local public swimming pool with 3 Tamagotchis in my swimmers, 2 of which I was caring for, I miss them dearly. Christopher A.C.T

So, why were they so important to us?

Good old fashioned nostalgia.

☏ Can I get a funeral for my lost Tamagotchi… One night my baby brother wanted it when I was going to sleep, obviously I said no because he was my little virtual pet.. but mum made me let him use it, and when I woke, it was lost … Never found it and I know he had to have starved to death or died of sickness due to his poos never being cleaned… R.I.P little buddy. Kurt, burnie-Tas. His name was Rocko.

Kurt still has many a fond memory of his Tamagotchi Rocko - so named because Kurt was nine at the time and “everything was just ‘Rocko’ to me… I liked the name.”

“I had him on a lanyard and would take him to all events. I’d rock my lanyard and just look after him all the time.” He managed to shield Rocko from The Great Virtual Pet Purge that happened at most schools: “Yeah, I kinda got through that. I learnt how to pause it but I think it took our school a long time to ban them.” And then after he eventually lost him, Kurt searched high and low for dear Rocko “for years.”

So, why did Rocko make such an impact? “I don’t know,” says Kurt. “ I suppose it’s one of those things where you look back and - - that was a big part of my childhood. It’s not necessarily the pet itself, it’s the nostalgia. It was a happy moment in your life and it was taken away from you.”

Has he found some measure of closure? “I have [laughs]. It was the eulogy that did it. Actually I’d never acknowledged it till then, I thought maybe one day it would turn up. [I’ve] finally accepted it.”

My virtual pet is better than your virtual pet.

Another reason for the deep connection, Kurt thinks, is just straight up competitiveness. The drive to make your Tamagotchi the very best Tamagotchi. “A hundred percent,” says Kurt. “That’s what it was like for me, anyway. I’m a very competitive person.”

“There’s the excitement of how well you look after it, what it’s going to turn into. And I suppose, me and brothers had them, so we could breed them together and have kids, which was a cool concept at the time.”


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Why Do We Get So Attached To Our Virtual Pets?
Reez Ramsey
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