DimensionsW: 44mm H: 52mm D: 18mm
RelationshipsPortable and Personal
Tamagotchi is a virtual pet that requires attention and nurture to survive and mature into adult form. Users monitor the screen presence of an embryonic form that moves about and beeps to alert the carer that attention of some kind is required to maintain the creature’s healthy development.
The social impact of the Tamagotchi was substantial when it was first released. School classes were disrupted by young Tamagotchi users consumed by the maintenance of their pet. The first series, of which this is one, were particularly invasive because the beeping audio could not be muted and the life cycle could not be paused, resulting in the death of the virtual pet within half a day of neglect.
Tamagotchi exposes the capacity for humans to become emotionally attached to inanimate objects, validating the design philosophy of some of the most successful designers of technological products. First released in 1996, it remains in production today.