virtual girl

Okay, time for a post about a weird... interest of mine? It's not exactly a hobby or a collection, so I can't think of any other way to term it than "weird random interest." And that interest is... Tamagotchis.

That is my white ID L, which is my fave. If you watched my room tour video, you saw me checking up on it while I was at my desk.

Back in 1997 or '98, when Tamagotchis were new on the scene and super popular toys, I was a freshman in high school and I had a blue one. (This was also around the time Furbies were huge. My boyfriend at the time had a Furby and I had a Tamagotchi, ha!) I remember thinking it was really cute because I have always loved cute Japanese stuff, but I didn't know how to keep it alive, because I couldn't really keep an eye on it during school. I felt terribly guilty when it was in bad shape, like, "What did I do wrong!!! I'm so sorry, little guy!"

I don't know what happened to that classic Tamagotchi, but recently, new versions (Tamagotchi Friends) have come out in America! The 90s are truly back, right??

I don't have one of those, but I do have two Japanese Tamagotchis -- that white ID L (above) and a pink P's (below). I have a "vintage" pink Angelgotchi as well.

I didn't make this cozy, but you have to admit it IS the cutest thing. Look at the little ears! I need to learn how to make Tamagotchi cozies ASAP!! It looks easy, but I'm really bad at crocheting in the round.

Anyway, I really like the ID L's characters and features, especially the seeds, for some reason, and being able to change the interior of your Tama's dwelling. I played through twenty generations (which I thoroughly charted) before I slipped up and fell asleep without also changing my Tamagotchi's clock so he'd be asleep too. He wrote what I can only assume was a passive aggressive note -- I don't know, they're in Japanese! -- and moved out, effectively ending my long and carefully maintained lineage.

I love the pearly finish my white ID L has. It's literally beautiful! You can't see it in these pictures but it's very lovely.

I like the Tamagotchi P's slightly less, as I feel like there is less to do, less characters -- it may be more dependent on downloads and "pierces," of which I only have one. I also dislike the way the sound and clock toggling features are hidden under lots of sub-menus instead of easy to change. But it's got my favorite mini-game, with the candy and stuff coming down the ladders that you catch in a little basket.

I could never keep up with two at once, and sometimes I don't feel like checking up on one at all, so I just run them when I feel like it. I take them in my purse with me and if I'm nervous and need something to do, I check up on the Tamagotchi.  "You need a snack, bro?"  And playing mini games and Getting Dem Gotchi Points is the best way to get through a commercial break, if you're an ancient 90s kid like me and sometimes still watch an actual television set.

Tamagotchis have never stopped being popular in Japan. They have a cult following outside Japan, lots of collectors and fans, and even group hatchings where participants all run their Tamagotchis at once! I think that's so wonderful. Observing the habits and passions of collectors gives me vicarious joy, and it's also just interesting, collecting. Sometimes it's that "gotta catch 'em all" thing, and sometimes people have a particular affinity or interest for one model or style or color of something in particular. Sometimes people just want to collect things out of nostalgia, to have something they couldn't have as a kid or to recapture a memory or feeling. Sometimes people unwillingly end up with collections because others start associating them with a particular thing and give them more of it.

Oddly I don't really consider myself a collector of anything, even though I do have little collections. But I think I do want to get a 4U, which I think is the latest Japanese version, and one of the English Tamagotchi Friends versions.


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