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SYFY WIRE Original Video

The Tamagotchi Challenge! Can we keep digital pets alive?


Remember Tamagotchis? Those digital pets you tried to keep alive between classes?

If you're a child of the '90s, you probably had one (or a Gigapet or Nanopet or whatever) attached to your backpack and may or may not have gotten it confiscated by your homeroom teacher. SYFY WIRE's Juan Cavidad, Morgan Johnson, and Jackie Jennings wanted to see if they could reclaim that part of their childhoods and see if they could actually keep one of these things alive.

The Tamagotchi you remember has evolved from a brightly colored egg with a tiny pixelated screen to a larger, sparkly egg with a slightly less tiny — and colorful — pixelated screen. Taking care of one has also gotten more complicated. Morgan had the older version for comparison, and while it only demanded a meal or a snack, Jackie and Juan's newer species could get anything they craved, from rice bowls to candy and ham sandwiches. Jackie's in particular loved ham sandwiches.

Warning: These newer ones will constantly poop once they hatch. There are even a few exceptions when they get older. Juan's Tamagotchi was supposed to be potty-trained but still managed to poop on the rug as a teenager. That never changed.

By the way, did you know newer Tamagotchis can also meet strangers in the park, go out to restaurants, and even end up in the hospital? There is actually such a thing as a Tamagotchi hospital, and if yours is rushed there, you'll see a bunch of black batlike things flying above it. That doesn't necessarily mean it's gone back to its home planet, which is the euphemism for Tamagotchi death, yet.

Didn't these creatures used to die with crossed-out eyes and floating skulls around them? Guess the designers had second thoughts about what children, and adults who pretend to be children sometimes, could handle.

So who was the best Tama Mama or Tama Daddy? Watch the video to find out!

This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.