Things That Make Me Feel Old: Tamagotchi.

It’s now less than a month until my birthday that you will all forget, skip, or be too far away to do anything about, which means that I am acutely aware of anything that will make me feel “old.” This list includes celebrities who died at the age of 27, young people on the internet having no clue who NSync were/are, Weezer’s upcoming rock cruise, and now this: Tamagotchi.

In case you weren’t alive or sober in 1997 or so, the Tamagotchi was a small, handheld toy supposedly in the shape of an egg. Your little alien baby hatched from an egg on the screen and bounced around in black and not-really-white. There were three buttons, and I really have no idea what the third button is for. I don’t think I ever did. You fed it bread or candy, played games with it, bathed it, and basically tried to keep it alive for 30 days so it could evolve into some new, special squiggly alien rather than the alien you created last month. And then you’d start over, usually after you killed it. It was brilliant, though not as brilliant as GigaPets because if you bought a cat, you’d get a cat. What can I say, I like spoilers.

Anyway, it recently came to my attention that there is a Tamagotchi app. For free. This was the gadget that took up perhaps a year of my life (when I wasn’t hating Hanson or Titanic), the very thing I scraped and saved for in order to accumulate the $20 or so I needed to have a fake pet in my life. That was a lot of money back then, kids. Plus this app is in full color. I had to have it to see what’s changed in nearly 20 years. Would my alien be green?

Would it fuck.

I downloaded the app, forgot how to use the buttons on the egg (before realizing you can just switch to a screen view), fell asleep, and promptly forgot about my little bundle of joy. By the time I remembered to check on it the next day, my newborn was dead, surrounded by its own feces. Could there possibly be a worse way to teach children about responsibility? “Take care of this thing, or it will die, and its bowels will release. That is what happens when you die. Dying is shit.”

To avoid doing anything else important, I started over. I set alerts for myself this time. I’d feed him. I’d bathe him. I’d make sure he got past the black blob stage. We’d play Rock Paper Scissors, and he’d get so angry with me when I won. How adorable. Today I got my first alert: “Your Tamagotchi needs you!”

The image speaks for itself.

So far this thing is three days old, and I doubt it’ll last much longer. As something resembling an adult, I will just stick with cats. You can leave them alone all day, and it’s easier to keep them from pooing over everything you love. I guess this is growing up.


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