The Japanese have launched a range of motorised and robotic pets. Some are way too expensive. The Tamagotchi gets people thinking about their commitment to virtual pets.
Below is a transcript of the audio file.
Host: The Japanese have unveiled the first ever electronic pet. I think they are sort of motorised dogs or something. I suppose the good thing about these is that when you go on holidays you can just unplug them or turn them off?
Jonar Nader: Well there is build in intelligence into those so that if you do that you will come back with a dead pet. You see, it is called the Tamagotchi. Now the Tamagotchi must be treated like a real think and you must put it to bed at a certain time and you must feed it by playing with it and if you over feed it, it will get fat. It’s a small toy but it is the beginning of ‘hey child, you can’t have a dog because a dog is too messy and Japan hasn’t got the real estate to have dogs in the back yard, so you are going to have a Tamagotchi.’ These things will be the start. And for example what happens after that? What happens if you had a Vant?
Host: What’s a Vant?
Jonar Nader: A virtual ant, you will get the hang of this, watch this. What’s a Vish?
Host: A virtual fish
Jonar Nader: And a Vog and a Vat and a Vird and a Vouse and a Veg. I tell you, a Vum could be a virtual mum and a Vad, a virtual dad.
Host: And hence, the vet will do well, won’t they?
Jonar Nader: Yes, let em leave you with this quote. Ada Augusta Byron, who was the daughter of English poet Lord Byron, she was born in 1816 and when she was 27 she worked with Charles Babbage, whom we now as the father of the modern computer. She herself was dubbed as the world’s first programmer. She said “Computers can’t originate anything. They can only do what we order then to perform. Since computers cant create, they cant think.” And that’s what Ada Augusta Byron had to say on the matter.
Host: Well I am starting to have my doubts. Thanks for coming in. Jonar Nader, who joins us every Sunday night for a look inside the world of information technology.