I handed off my Tamagotchi in a challenge to see if another person could keep it alive. During the months I took care of it I told myself that I would reveal many things – that I would be able to say something for having incorporated the virtual pet into my life. I also swore that I would 2. Conquer the game and 3. Become awesome.
I obviously had very high hopes for this venture.
For a child who has ample free time, running a continuous program is fun and easy. I found that with places to be, responsibilities and pressure from my own peers, Tamagotchi is rough. You start off uncool right off the bat and there are various questions as if you [secretly] have a profound reason for playing with the toy. So you defend yourself in the challenge, reach for rationalization that was probably never there and by the time you figure out how to keep the digital creature alive you have realized how many people you’re surrounded by are judgmental, selfish assholes.
Occasionally someone would see the toy lying somewhere and go, “Oh my GOSH is that what I think it is?! Ohh that is so cool!” and I would get a glimpse of the sort of spirited person that I should have been friending throughout life.
Even though the game was in a language I couldn’t read, I figured it out through trial and error, pictures and memorization. I’ve never been good at associating names with people or places so the words didn’t really matter. What I struggled with was remembering to take the toy with me when I left the house…or even remembering that I had to tend to it at all. It became apparent to me, in the form of losing that challenge over and over, that I needed to stop regularly ignoring the tools I needed to succeed day to day.
Since keeping the Tamagotchi I’ve stopped losing my wallet and keys. I’ve learned to think about what it takes to be prepared. I think about where I put something down. I check in with myself more and depend on other people less. I practiced careful timing (i.e. how not to hatch a newborn in the middle of my shift). I learned to develop that perfect science and eliminate the inconveniences I was always suffering from. And I believe that the issues we have, the important ones we really need to address, are especially easy to see when we’re trying to goof off.
So today, because it had all become easy, I challenged a coworker to take on something that he found rather silly. Will there be a bigger lesson, an underlying purpose in the concept of Tamagotchi?
Or will he just hand it back, dead.