Cats and dogs will always be popular, of course, but horses and fish were also in great demand. the Legend of Zelda the franchise has Link’s iconic horse as the main character, and Red Dead Redemption 2 gives wonderfully cinematic horseback rides through the countryside, as well as necessary interactions like feeding, petting and grooming. I have already mentioned one (of the many!) Fish games available. And for those looking for something even more off the beaten track, there’s the adorable Chtulhu to raise like yours.
So these are the digital pets that came before. What about things to come?
Today and tomorrow
With each new technological advance, will follow some virtual pet. Shortly after Apple introduced the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, the Touch bar pet came up with. Using the thin space, you can feed your pet, throw a little red ball to play with, and clean up after. A cute idea, but barely enough to be considered a game. I would classify this virtual pet under “distraction” rather than a companion.
David Fazzio is the solo developer behind the Studio 46 game The companion, which, in addition to being breathtaking both visually and visually, gives players a chance to see the other side of company life. Here the animal refers to a “spiritual companion” and the players themselves are the creature. “As a companion,” says Fazzio, “you will earn the kindness, trust and love of characters in human history. At times you will interact with the characters in human history and be a pet, you can sit down, lie down and offer a paw. Now, I felt like I was getting closer to why digital pets have such a hold on users.
The ability to rub your pet behind the ears seems an essential part of the design. Tristan Cooper owns the Twitter account “Can you stroke the dog,Which collects user data on which video games allow players to interact benevolently with dogs (and sometimes other animals). “I think people who like to pet video game dogs do so from a range of perspectives,” he says. “Some players will see this as a nice break from the increasingly complex and demanding standards of modern AAA gameplay. Some players will see it as a way to reconnect with a beloved childhood pet who has passed away. Some players like cute animals. There is a positive feedback loop between petting the animals in the game and receiving delighted reactions from them.
Virtual reality developers are scrambling to make pet games as well. The based on Oculus Bogo offers adorable creatures to consider as pets, and being inside the VR headset provides gamers with a full sensory interaction experience. Here you can bend down to pet your pet and physically swing your arm to throw a stick. Imagine your beloved pet living forever in virtual reality!
Owning a virtual pet can also be a gimmick. ZED is a horse racing and breeding site built on blockchain technology. Users spend real money to buy, breed, race and sell digital horses. Each comes with its own unique set of coding, hidden from users to add even more realistic unknown factors.
If horses aren’t your thing, there’s also the Aavegotchi, which plays like an updated Tamagotchi, created only for the crypto generation. Users can buy their avatars and take care of them the same way they did in the 90s.
After looking at all of this, it’s clear that digital pets will always have something for us. They represent the company when we may not have any otherwise. They feed our need to take care of other beings. It is a pleasure that we are quick to invite into our lives. The multiple species of brightly colored fish in my virtual aquarium are proof that they provide something that would be impossible to achieve in real life.
Satisfied with that, I know my fish are doing well, so I turn off my iPad and can finally sleep.
More great WIRED stories