If you say the word “tamagotchi” to a group of people in a room full of them, the way they react will tell you which generation they belong to. Most of those who look blank or confused were probably born in the 2000s, whereas those who sigh with nostalgia were probably already children (or adults) in the late 1990s. Countless companies (including the virtual pet’s creator, Bandai) are attempting to replicate the success of the virtual pet phenomenon, and we now have the latest and, perhaps, grossest contender to do so.
The Punirunes Touchable Digital Pet is the latest in a long line of companies attempting to create virtual pets for a generation that is already very familiar with the concept of caring for virtual animals. However, what distinguishes it from all of the other similar products currently available on the market is also what makes it a little more interesting and creepy as well. It has a hole in it where you can stick your finger in and touch your pet or check to see if it’s still alive or something like that. On paper, it sounds disgusting, but if you enjoy more tactile toys or stress relievers, it’s likely that this is something that has piqued your curiosity.
Punirune is a virtual pet contained within an electronic case, and you will be responsible for caring for it in the same way that you would any other virtual pet, including feeding it, bathing it, changing its diapers, playing with it, and so on. You can actually take them through three different stages: baby puni, kids puni, and adult puni (depending on how old they are). When you get to the third stage, that’s when things start to get a little creepy. This is due to the fact that the toy allows you to insert your finger into the hole and pet your puni. It converts it into an animated finger that is displayed on the LCD screen.
Some people find it relaxing to touch squishy things as tactile stress relievers, such as stress balls and other small toys, while others find it repulsive and disgusting. If you fall into the first category, this may be something you’ll enjoy. And the status of your pet is a direct reflection of what you have done to it. For example, if you touch something that is hot, it could indicate that your baby is sick, and if it is wet, it could indicate that your baby is sweating. And if you come into contact with something that appears to be a dead pet, it’s possible that you haven’t been taking care of it for the past few weeks.
Would you really want to be in contact with an adult puni, on the other hand? While keeping these virtual pets clean and well-fed is important, the ultimate goal is to see them grow. It’s adorable when they’re babies or even children, but what about when they’re an adult that you’re squishing with your finger? It’s possible that it’s something else. It all depends on where your mind takes you, and whether it’s funny or disgusting. Of course, given that these Tamagotchi-like pets go through a life cycle, you can expect your pet to eventually die and then be reborn as a baby as well. I wish you the best of luck in trying to explain this to your child. Alternatively, it’s possible that this is part of the lesson and that’s why you’re giving them a Punirine.