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Opinion

Tamagotchi pet brings back joys, frustrations of 90s

Tyler Smith

Published April 25th, 2013

The 1990s were, as a whole, not bad. Except for that O.J. Simpson business, the Sarin gas attack in Tokyo, Mad Cow spreading around the world or hundreds of men going blind from a little blue pill.

Millions of people tuned-in to watch the sandy beaches of Santa Monica, Calif., on the hit drama “Baywatch.” Pierce Brosnan was “Bond, James Bond.” Possibly the worst romantic film of all time was released: “Titanic.”

Rose: “I’ll never let go. I promise.” Then she proceeds to push Jack into the ocean. Rose Dawson was a liar.

Aside from dramas about bikinis, I mean beaches, the suavest “Bond” of all time, and the cheesiest romance film being released, the best part about the 90s was arguably owning a Tamagotchi pet (or maybe it was being 8-years-old and watching “Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood,” I do not know).

A Tamagotchi pet, for those of you whom are ill informed, is an electronic device that allows you to simulate the task of taking care of a pet that eats, sleeps, and poops – and poops some more.

With that slogan, what kid would not want a Tamagotchi over a Pomeranian?

I bring this up because I saw one of the Tamagotchi pets when I visited a younger cousin this past weekend.

He had raised his pet and nourished it into a fine upstanding 5-year-old, 8-bit, nagging little worm that excreted a constant flow of refuse.

I tried not to show any enthusiasm around my cousin, but being the grown man-child that I am, I promptly downloaded the application for my iPhone when I arrived home and waited for it to eat, sleep and poop.

Exhilarating stuff.

My mission was to foster an electronic pet that grew old, the Sensei kind of old, the wax on, wax off kind of old. The “that cheese smells bad” kind of old.

Everything started off fairly nice with my pet, his name was Oscar “the Grouch.” I would feed him, bathe him, and turn out the lights for him, and he would smile like the dumb little beastie that he was.

However, when I tried to feed him supper, he would not eat. So I turned off the lights for him and put him aside for awhile. Just a nap.

Oscar was asleep, so I decided to tuck myself in for the evening as well.

When I awoke in the morning, something terrible had happened.

In contrast to my cousin’s pet that had grown to 5-years-old, Oscar had only lived a day before he sprouted electronic angel wings and flew up into the sky.

I imagined he didn’t blame me for his death, but that is just the optimistic thoughts of a man-child. Oscar’s death really was not any of my doing.

In retrospect, Oscar brought about his own demise by not eating his darned electronic food.

Needless to say, I put Oscar where he belonged and felt most comfortable, in the trash.

Tyler Smith is a student at UW-River Falls.

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