The Tamagotchi is a handheld virtual pet created in 1996 by Aki Maita and sold by Bandai. All Tamagotchi games are egg-shapped with an LCD screen and reset tab, and almost all include 3 buttons (The Yasashii Tamagotch, the Arukotch, and the Tamagotchi School have more). To date, a total of 33 different Tamagotchis have been released, with a new version being available summer 2007[1].

Basic functions of the Tamagotchi include cleaning poop, feeding, playing games, turning off lights when it sleeps, giving it medicine, and disciplining. Modern Tamagotchis can also interract with each other via infrared signals, make money, get jobs, and buy items to play with. Others can also connect with cell phones and websites. How well (or how poorly) you care for your Tamagotchi determines what character it will evolve into.

Three Tamagotchi games were developed for the Game Boy in 1997, though only 1 was released in the U.S. Two games were developed for the Nintendo DS: Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop and Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop 2. A game for the Wii, Tamagotchi: Party On!, is to be released in May 2007[2].



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