Before you casually forgot to feed your Neopets for two years -- they're just "starving and sobbing uncontrollably is all," in the company's words -- you were killing off your Tamagotchi pets like it was NBD.
Tamagotchis were digital pets -- more specifically, an alien species -- created by Bandai and WiZ in Japan back in 1996. The pets lived inside a small, handheld device and were basically the coolest tech accessory for elementary schoolers growing up in the '90s and early '00s.
In what must be the greatest throwback move of all time, Bandai Namco brought back Tamagotchi for the Apple Watch. You can now download an app version of the game for 99 cents.
In the classic Tamagotchi game, you started out with an egg left behind by some strange, alien species. When the egg hatched, you were responsible for caring for the digital offspring. You were *supposed* to feed it, play with it and clean up its poop so that it could grow into a full-fledged adult Tamagotchi creature thing.
Our Tamagotchi were whiny little creatures. In their infant stages, they needed almost constant attention. They were always hungry, always pooping and always unhappy. Some kind souls dutifully tended to their pet's every need so it could develop into an intelligent member of Tamagotchi society.
But most of us, myself included, were too preoccupied with our busy elementary school schedules to keep up with these serious responsibilities. Due to our selfish neglect, our Tamagotchis died tragically young. (This is probably why my parents didn't think I was responsible enough to get a puppy, either. I couldn't even remember to feed a digital pet. How could I care for an actual living being?!)
The Tamagotchi Apple Watch app, which works alongside iPhone and iPad versions, isn't as interactive at the egg-shaped toy was. There are fewer animated reactions, and you can't link up with other players or play games with your pet. Pet games are limited to the iPhone and iPad apps.
Let's take a moment to assess what's changed since we last raised and/or killed off a Tamagotchi. We're basically a whole decade older, which means we're more mature (or at least we like to think we are). And thanks to the app, our Tamagotchi is always in sight, not hanging off a keychain on a backpack somewhere.
We like to think these factors -- increased maturity plus increased visibility -- mean our current Tamagotchi pets won't suffer the same sad fate as our childhood ones. We're grown-up enough to have the decency to pick up its poop in a timely manner. Right? Right.
Whatever the case, Tamagotchis were probably meant to make a home out of the Apple Watch. According to an archived Bandai page from 2007, Tamagotchi literally means "egg watch" in Japanese. Sounds like fate to us.