Tamagotchi Craze

KTReuters – Teh Internet 1996

Today Bandai of Japan has released their flagship digital pet they call the Tamagotchi.  A spokesperson for the company said that they believe that most schoolchildren will be playing with the small handheld game by Christmas.  The game itself allows the player to interact with a virtual pet that the player can grow, feed, and teach.  The controls and game are simple, but can allow for hours of fun according to the creator Akihiro Yokoi.  Bandai stocks went through the roof with the projection that 70,000,000 Tamagotchi products will be sold in just over ten years.

This caused somber news throughout the handheld game industry.  Nintendo, the company known for its popular Gameboy system declined official statement.  However, a businessman speaking on condition of anonymity said that if the Gameboy could sell even a fraction of the amount of Tamagotchi’s sales it would make money hand over fist.  The businessman refused to discuss whether the rumors of Nintendo planning on ditching its Gameboy line for a Tamagotchi-esque product were true.

This reporter, during the time traveling session, noted that in the reporter’s classroom of 26 students nearly two thirds of the students owned a Tamagotchi game or a similar knockoff.  Only 4 students owned Gameboys.  With reports like these coming from the children who will shape the future, it is clear that the future of handheld gaming is Tamagotchi.  Now back to your regularly scheduled time.

–Ravious
plutonium is available in every corner drug store

15 thoughts on “Tamagotchi Craze

  1. logan

    hmm… i’m not sure what you’re trying to get at with this post but the first thing that popped into my mind was how facebook is the new tamagotchi.

    simple, mindless, time-wasting, “games”… tamagotchi was wildly successful, but didn’t really take over the handheld gaming industry as predicted… just like facebook will be successful, but won’t really change the gaming industry at all… at least i hope not… i certainly don’t want those type of games becoming “real” games.

  2. Bhagpuss

    Tamagotchi was/is a toy. Toys are like games but they aren’t games.

    Pokemon might have made for a better analogy.

    (For what it’s worth, I found Tamagotchis incredibly irritating. They seemed to simulate all the things that aren’t fun about owning a pet while simultaneously failing to include any of that things that are. They weren’t even furry. Furbys were much better).

  3. wilhelm2451

    @Bhagpuss – Is The Sims a game or a toy?

    And Pokemon would not, I suspect, make the analogy that is being attempted in this case. Pokemon remains a popular example of a sub-genre of role playing games.

    1. Syncaine

      Or in other words, Pokemon is what happens when you take Tamagotchi and make it a good game, rather than a cute novelty and a crappy ‘game’. Currently FB is a cute novelty, just like MySpace before it. MySpace never ‘evolved’ (if anything it rapidly devolved) and went the way of Tamagotchi. The fate of FB is still up in the air.

      (The fate of Twitter seems to be very Tamagotchi-like however, as already the ‘in’ crowd is moving on. Go figure that “I ate toast today” did not have a long-term lasting appeal…)

      1. Bhagpuss

        That’s twice recently you’ve said MySpace is somehow out of favor or not being used any more. Is that actually the case?

        I thought it was a network that musicians and artists used to promote and sell their work. I browse it occasionally, usually following links from YouTube. I bought a CD from my current favorite band ( http://www.myspace.com/peggywho ) not too long ago that I couldn’t get anywhere other than their own MySpace page. A guy I used to work with sold his band’s CDs all over the world through their MySpace page.

        Seem to have gone a bit off-topic here…

        My point on Pokemon wasn’t just the game/toy thing but also kind of that I think Farmville, like Pokemon, will be more than a short-term playground fad.

        1. wilhelm2451

          @Bhagpuss – I have to print that out and frame it.

          You defend MySpace as not being past its prime relative to Facebook, and then in the same comment again dismiss Pokemon as a past fad despite having just released a new game that got great reviews and has sold over 3 million units already.

          Pokemon is a 14 year old franchise with six generations of games, a dozen movies (okay, most went straight to video, but a new one is coming out this year), an animated series in its 12th season and still going, and a trading card game.

          We should all be so lucrative when we’re declared a past fad.

          Now, if what you meant was that the trading card game isn’t so popular on the playground any more, I’d agree. But don’t be calling Pokemon in general a past fad without knowing about what you are suggesting.

          Okay, have I now crossed the line into Pokemon fanboy?

          My wife used to be the sales rep in our area for Tamagotchi, so I have a good feel for how past that fad is.

          (sorry for the thread diversion btw)

          1. Ravious Post author

            I read Bhagpuss as saying that Farmville WOULD follow the then so-called fad of Pokemon… as in they would follow a similar route of success.

            [and there is no such thing as a thread diversion at KTR ;)]

            1. Syncaine

              Clearly his blind Pokemon fanboi’ism got in the way of actually reading what Bhag was saying. You know how silly fanbois get… :)

              And about MySpace, that it is back to being a music-focused area is somewhat making my point. MySpace use to appeal to everyone, and it was at that point that it’s value (in terms of buyout) was highest. But the fad passed, and now it’s back to catering to a specific group (indie music). If you are an indie band, that’s a good thing. If you are an investor, it’s not.

            2. Bhagpuss

              I actually missed the time when MySpace was a full-on social network. Or rather I went on using MySpace during it, but only for what I had used it for before. So from my perspective it looks pretty much the same proposition as it always did, which is why I do a bit of a double-take at it being held up as a Failed Thing.

              Then again, I didn’t pay $580m for it :P

              And yes, I did mean to hold up Pokemon as an example of a fad that stayed the course to become a long-term success. Actually, I didn’t just mean to – I did!

            3. wilhelm2451

              You mean we might have to face a dozen straight to video Farmville movies, a Farmville animated series, and a Farmville trading card game?

              I don’t think I can survive that.

  4. Oz

    I have one of the original Tamagotchis. My mother waited in line at Toys R Us for it to give it to me as a gag gift. We share a funny sense of humor. I did have at the time one of the original black LED style Game Boys too. I only recently gave it away to a nephew (under wifely decree) and wish so much I hadn’t.

    (I’ve also had a GBC, GBA, and have a DS currently)

  5. Armagon

    Oh wow, you caught my sense of time completely off guard here.
    I’d have put Tamagotchis earlier in the 90s, only a couple of years though, and as Wikipedia just told me the GameBoy Color only came in 1998, and I do remember this was a new boost.
    Then again I only bought my first GameBoy in 2002, it was an Advance.

    I do think FarmVille (not all of Facebook) is a good analogy of a Tamagotchi, as are most browser games with some kind of deferred playstyle. You’re not sitting there caring *actively* about your Tamagotchi for hours (or well, at least I hope so) – but check back once in a while.

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