Despite years of badgering our parents, this was the only pet many of us 90s kids were ever allowed to have.
Invented in Japan, the Tamagotchi was introduced to the wider world in 1996 and changed the lives of schoolkids all over the planet. Finally they had a pet that they could play with, clean up after and… watch while it slept.
What exactly was a Tamagotchi?
Tamagotchis, in a nutshell, were digital pets that were housed in an egg-shaped case about the same size as a keyring. If you didn’t feed it, it died. If you didn’t play with it, it died. If you didn’t clean up its poo quickly enough, it died. Basically, they taught kids that having a pet was really hard work. Despite this hard-line approach, the little critters were pretty addictive. This video from Mashable pretty much sums it up…
The pet of our dreams
The incessant bleeping of the Tamagotchi was music to our ears as children and concealing them under our school desks to keep them alive became a fine art. Whether you had a duck, a dog, a penguin, a cat, an alien or one of the many other varieties of digital pet, your beloved pal was part of an 80 million strong army.