Throwback Thursday: Tamagotchi

Don't let this kid's dead eyes fool you, this was a fun toy.
Don’t let the dead eyes fool you, this was a fun toy.

No other toy caused quite so much anxiety over the health and well being of an electronic than the Tamagotchi. Except for maybe the Furby, but that was more like trying to offer up sacrifices to a vengeful god.

It was never satisfied.
It was never satisfied.

The first generation of Tamagotchis were released in 1996 in Japan and quickly made the jump to the U.S. because we pretty much love anything from there: sushi, origami, Hentai, Hello Kitty, the list can go on and on.

Here's a photo of Hello Kitty instead of Hentai. You're welcome/I'm sorry. Pick whichever seems the most fitting for your own preferences.
Here’s a photo of Hello Kitty instead of Hentai.
You’re welcome/I’m sorry.
Pick whichever feels the most fitting for your own preferences.

The basic premise of a Tamagotchi was that you hatched a little creature from an egg and you had to feed it, bathe it, clean up after it, bathe it, and take care of it when it got sick. Kind of like a child, except you could let it die and just start over without a visit from the authorities.

Apparently these don't come with a reset button.
Apparently these don’t come with a reset button.

Much like a real child, these toys were not forgiving and would drown in a pile of their own feces if you left them unattended to do something stupid like sleep or go to school. As a result, many kids brought their Tamagotchis to school with them in order to keep them alive. Subsequently, many schools banned these toys to keep kids from getting distracted and feeding their digital pet instead of learning math.

Fuck it, that's what calculators are for anyway.
Fuck it, that’s what calculators are for.

Tamagotchis were one of the most popular school-banned toys but in retrospect, it was one of the nicer toys that got banned. Yes, it was distracting in class as you fed your little alien instead of learning the capitol of South Dakota, but you could’ve been spending your time practicing juvenile BDSM with slap bracelets or gambling away your hard earned Pogs with those assholes you called friends who tried their hardest to steal your favorites.

I TOLD YOU THAT ONE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO GO IN THE STACK, STEVEN.
“I TOLD YOU THAT ONE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO GO IN THE STACK, STEVE.”

However–and this might because I was the bookworm with glasses–I don’t understand why Tamagotchis were such a danger to learning and yet we were required to play dodgeball in P.E. Yeah, you weren’t supposed to do headshots but if you can show me one 90s kid who claims they were never hit in the head with a dodgeball, I’ll show you someone with more concussions with Wes Welker.

State-mandated curriculum at its finest.
State-mandated curriculum at its finest.

Once school bans were enforced, you were left with a difficult choice. It was a point of pride to keep your Tamagotchi alive for longer than five minutes and let’s be honest, you needed to be better than all your stupid friends. You could either experience the birth and death of your beloved Tamagotchi on a daily basis or you could wait to play with it until summer break when you could spend all your free time at the beck and call of a tiny monster.

Really not unlike a real child.

You chose the Tamagotchi every time. After all, your stupid friends stole all your best Pogs and hit you in the head during dodgeball.

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