In the late 1990s, a tiny virtual pet from Bandai Namco burst onto the elementary school scene and captured the hearts of millions – the Tamagotchi. Originating in Japan, the Tamagotchi’s name comes from combining the Japanese word for egg (tamago) and watch (uotchi).
The concept was simple yet groundbreaking. Each Tamagotchi came in the form of a small & colorful egg-shaped keychain. Inside, a pixelated pet awaited its virtual caregiver. Players had to feed, clean up after, and play with their digital friend to keep it happy and healthy. Neglecting your Tamagotchi could lead to its untimely demise.
The Tamagotchi phenomenon was more than just a fad. It taught responsibility, time management, and empathy to a generation that was just beginning to navigate the digital age. It was the perfect blend of virtual reality and tangible interaction, and the mystery & excitement of discovering which species of virtual pet would hatch from the next egg added to the replay value.