A DIGITAL PET (also known as a VIRTUAL PET, ARTIFICIAL PET, or PET-RAISING SIMULATION) is a type of artificial human companion . They are usually kept for companionship or enjoyment. People may keep a digital pet in lieu of a real pet .
Digital pets are distinct in that they have no concrete physical form other than the hardware they run on. Interaction with virtual pets may or may not be goal oriented. If it is, then the user must keep it alive as long as possible and often help it to grow into higher forms. Keeping the pet alive and growing often requires 'feeding', grooming and playing with the pet. If the interaction is not goal oriented, the user can explore the character of the pet and enjoy the feeling of building a relationship with it.
Digital pets can be "simulations of real animals, as in the Petz series" or "fantasy ones like the Tamagotchi ". Unlike biological simulations , the pet does not usually reproduce. They generally do not die, and they can regenerate.
* 1 Types
* 1.1 Web-based * 1.2 Software-based
* 2 History
* 3 Controversy
* 3.1 Digital pets over real pets
* 3.1.1 Relationship with digital pet
* 4 Common features
* 4.1 Communication * 4.2 Sense of reality * 4.3 Interactivity * 4.4 Example of common features
* 5 Generalization to non-pet situations * 6 See also * 7 References
Virtual pet sites are usually free to play and accessible to all who
sign up. They can be accessed through web browsers and often include a
virtual community, such as Neopia in
Some sites adopt out pets to put on a webpage and use for role-playing in chat rooms . They often require the adoptee to have a page ready for their pet. Sometimes they have a setup for breeding one's pets and then adopting them out.
Most sites use quests in order for users to make points and receive
items. Some quests can give stat points to the user's pets for when
they are battling. Such sites that use quests for a primary foundation
on the site are
There are also "simulation sites" where the webpage attempts to simulate a real-life discipline, such as horse dressage or pedigree dog showing. Often these sites will also have a breeding aspect, including genetics and markings. Other simulation sites focus mostly on the markings. Some have done away with the showing aspect and created a great fantasy or comedic website, based around a nonexistent discipline or creature. An example of this is Woolly Hooves, a simulation game where the player gets his/her very own elemental llama, and goes on to hike, explore and complete less single-objective quests than some sites in a bizarre yet endearing world. A few more websites with a similar genre include Kingdom Of Knuffel, Mweor, Khimeros, Xanje, Aywas, Wajas, Tygras, The Dragon Empire and many more.
There are many video games that focus on the care, raising, breeding or exhibition of simulated animals. Such games are described as a sub-class of life simulation game . Since the computing power is more powerful than with webpage or gadget based digital pets, these are usually able to achieve a higher level of visual effects and interactivity. Pet-raising simulations often lack a victory condition or challenge, and can be classified as software toys .
The pet is capable of learning to do a variety of tasks. "This quality of rich intelligence distinguishes artificial pets from other kinds of A-life, in which individuals have simple rules but the population as a whole develops emergent properties ". For artificial pets, their behaviors are typically "preprogrammed and are not truly emergent".
A screen mate is a downloadable virtual pet that creates a small animation that walks around a computer desktop and over open screens unpredictably. Each pets is a small animation of an animal (such as a sheep or a frog, or in some cases a human or bottle cap) that can be interacted by clicking on or dragging, which lifts the pet as if you were picking it up. Most screen mates are free to download and used for entertainment purposes.
See also: List of artificial pet games
Digital pets were a massive fad in
The popularity of virtual pets in the United States, and the constant need for attention the pets required, led to them being banned from schools across the country, a move that hastened the virtual pet's decline from popularity.
A Mad cover parody on regular issue #362, October 1997 shows a gun
being pointed at a virtual pet with
Alfred E. Neuman
DIGITAL PETS OVER REAL PETS
Some people suggest that digital pets are preferable for a number of
reasons. Having a digital pet in place of a real pet ensures real pets
do not have to suffer, and it is arguably training before adopting a
Relationship With Digital Pet
There is research concerning the relationship between digital pets
and their owners, and their impact on the emotions of people. For
There are many common features between different digital pets, some of them are used to give a sense of reality to the user (such as the pet responding to "touch"), and some for enhancing playability (such as training).
With advanced video-gaming technology, most modern digital pets do not show a message box or icon to display the pet's internal variable, health state or emotion like earlier generations (such as Tamagotchi). Instead, users can only understand the pet by interpreting their actions, body language , facial expressions , etc. This helps to make a pet's behavior seem natural, rather than calculated, and fosters a feeling of a relationship between user and digital pet.
SENSE OF REALITY
To give a sense of reality to users, most digital pets have certain level of autonomy and unpredictability. The user can interact with the pet and this process of personalizing can make the pet more distinctive. Personalizing increases the feeling of responsibility for the pet to the user. For example, if a Tamagotchi is unattended for long enough, it will "die".
To increase user's personal attachment to the pet, the pet interacts with the user. Interactivity can be classified into two categories: Short-term and long-term.
Short-term interactivity includes direct interaction or action to reaction from the pet. Example: "touch" a pet with mouse cursor and the pet will give a direct response to the "touching".
Long-term interactivity includes action that affects the pet's growth, behavior or life span. For example, training a pet may have a good effect on the pet's behavior. Long-term interactivity is quite important for a sense of reality as the user would think that he has some lasting influence on the pet.
Two kinds of interactivity are often combined.
EXAMPLE OF COMMON FEATURES
* Responds to calling
* Responds to touching
GENERALIZATION TO NON-PET SITUATIONS
Many of the common features of digital pets are present in some games
that seek to represent something other than a pet. For example, the
short-term and long-term interactivity of digital pets is present in
Derby Owners Club (race horses) and
* List of virtual pet games
* ^ A B C D E F G H Rollings, Andrew; Ernest Adams (2003). Andrew
Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design. New Riders Publishing. pp.
477–487. ISBN 1-59273-001-9 .
* ^ http://www.virtualpetlist.com/showcase/
* ^ J. D. Biersdorfer (February 24, 2000). "Screen Mates for Fun or
Profit". New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
* ^ Rita Koselka (1996-12-02). "Save on dog food".
* v * t * e
* Beat \'em up
* Pac-Man clone
* First-person * Third-person * Side-scrolling * Top-down * isometric * Light gun * Shoot \'em up * Tactical
* Battle royale
* MMOFPS * MMORPG * MMORTS
* Construction and management
* Business * City * Government
* Life simulation
* Tower defense * Time management
* Amateur * Combat * Space
* Kart racing
* Sokoban * Tile-matching