I did something horrible to myself about a month ago. I got myself a virtual pet. And I’m addicted, yes ADDICTED!!!!! It was 29 days ago, to be exact, my pet log keeps track for me. It all started when my mom sent me a link with this tagline “the cutest app ever made.” Well? How could I not investigate? What I saw was utter adorableness and I had to support. I bought the app, Hatch, that afternoon and I’ve been playing with my pet non-stop ever since.
It opened with an fantastically cute video about the origins of Fugus (the name of this spherical, cuddly goodness of an animal). Then an equally squeezable young boy started talking to me about pets, asked me my favorite color, and then introduced me to an egg. Yes, this behavioral cross of a cat, dog, and small human hatches out of an egg. I’ve heard rumor on the Facebook page that I only got to choose my color because I was an early adopter, but I’m not too sure. Anyway, out came the yellow goodness of a pet I wish was real.
At first, though completely lovable, and so fun to watch evolve, my Fugu, Ten-ten (yes I named him Ten-ten), didn’t do much. He responded to pokes, belly rubs, and squeezes, but mostly just looked too cute for words and ate and pooped a lot. A LOT. However, using the two currencies of the game, acorns and star fruit (which turn to star coins) I was able to buy cute rugs for Ten-ten to sit on. It appealed to my inner consumer so I was happy.
Quickly though, the team at Hatch has been evolving their product, and it has been a joy to participate in. Now, my Fugu plays peek-a-boo, fetch, and I can decorate the environment. There is also an in-game camera that lets Ten-ten photo bomb anything I want to take a picture of. I LOVE it. I can’t wait to see what other new things my pet is going to learn in the future.
I never had a tamagotchi pet when I was young – though I saw a few of my friends with them – so maybe that is part of the problem. I didn’t get it out of my system when I should have, at about 10 years old. Now, at 27, it seems somehow inappropriate to interrupt class in order to feed my pet, but what the hell, I’m in a rebellious stage it seems.
It’s more than that though. My heart squeezes when I get a text saying my Ten-ten has gone on an adventure in the woods and brought me back a present. I think it’s adorable, even though I know it’s mean, when I finally unplug my phone in the morning and he cries from hunger (Ten-ten conveniently falls asleep when the phone is plugged in). When I’m on BART (the train for my commute to school), I love feeding and petting him. Even while reading, the commute has never seemed so short.
I’m not normally an advocate for addictive behaviors, but this one is something more people should indulge in. Having a hard day at work? Pull out your Fugu and squeeze his cheeks. Annoying family problems? Pull out your phone, feed your pet, and maybe play fetch. Line at the Post office? No problem! Your Fugu wants to play peek-a-boo anyway. It’s not that your escaping from reality, it just makes reality a little more rose colored.
Just in case you aren’t convinced yet, I am putting some photos below. If you aren’t impressed by his cuteness, I just don’t know what to say.