Photo of Webster, a white Tamagotchi

I got a Tamagotchi!

His name is Webster, and he was hatched at 5:35 pm Thursday, May 15th, 1997

Animated Graphic of Tamagotchi display And already he is very demanding! It is 6pm, and I have already fed him 4 times, and played with him 5 or 6 times. It takes a little practice to get used to the little buttons to perform the various functions. He has already gone to the bathroom once, and I was ready. I disciplined him when he did not deserve it- he called me for something, and I check his readouts, and misinterpreted his hunger and happiness meters. I saw four hearts, but did not realize that they were empty hearts. They should have been filled. So I mistakenly disciplined him. Oops. I have probably scarred him for life. sigh.

I have not gotten used to the buttons yet- I keep hitting the clear button when I should be selecting. And he takes a lot of effort to make happy!

6:30pm He just woke up from a nap, eliminated again, and even though I had cleaned it up, he got sick. I had to give him a shot twice to get him better. I then checked his status, and found him unhappy. Very unhappy.

Animated Gif of display for 3rd stage 6:43pm He just mutated! he was a 'babitchi' before, (see the above image), and is now a 'marutchi'! (see the image to the left). While typing this, he eliminated, and burst out into the most immense grin I could imagine him possible of. 7:13pm Whew! He has calmed down, and seems to be able to retain some happiness, and not eat so frequently.

Photo of Tobias, a purple Tamagotchi

Day 2, 5/16/97

10:33am The photo to the left is of Tobias Hale-Bopp, Christine's happy, bouncing Tamagotchi. He is a day (one year in Tamagotchi time) older than webster. Webster woke up silently at 9am, and was just as happy and well-fed as he was when he went to sleep. About an hour ago he beeped for attention, and I found that he did not need anything, so I disciplined him. (which is what you are supposed to do). Otherwise, quiet so far this morning. I have played with him a bit, and brought him to visit Tobias earlier this morning.

1:00pm Webster has been very undemanding this morning. I have played with him twice, and fed him twice. He beeped at me for attention again a little while ago, even though he did not need anything, so I cuffed him gently. This isn't as bad a process as I feared. Yesterday he needed a lot more. His age is 2 years, weight is 1 pound, 2 ounces (I think that is what the display is saying: the display shows a 1 then a large space, then a 2, then OZ- could be 12 ounces also) I have already had some e-mail asking me what is a tamagotchi. Here in the US, they have not hit the mainstream media yet. The importer is releasing a small amount to build interest, and plans to flood the stores in the end of May.

5:45pm After a quiet afternoon, during which I did occasionally play with him, webster started chirping for no reason. His hunger and happiness were at 2 hearts, so I tried to feed him. He refused to eat! So the instructions said to discipline him, which I did, and then he ate. Status: 2 years old, 16 oz, discipline is 3/4, hunger is low with 4 full hearts, and happiness is at 50%, 2 full hearts. I just played 2 quick games, during the first I got a perfect score! Now his happiness is at a full 4 filled hearts. I find that I am enjoying Webster more today. As he has relaxed, so have I. The easier pace has warmed me up to him. He was so demanding yesterday that I wondered if this was a mistake. But I am feeling the beginnings of regarding him as a living being.

9:05pm Webster was quiet this evening, and then at 9 pm chirped a little song, and went to sleep. I'm leaving him home while I go out dancing.

Day 3, 5/17/97

11:25pm I awoke this morning at 9:05, and found Webster already up and waiting for me. His happiness and fullness were at the same levels (3/4) that existed when he went to sleep. Again, he is requiring very little this morning. I fed him one loaf of bread this morning, let a friend play with him for 2 games, and then fed him 2 loaves a few minutes ago. He is: 3 years old, 18 Oz, 3/4 discipline, 3 hearts full, and 2 hearts happy. I think I'll play with him for a while.
So far, no one that I have met as I travel about has heard of Tamagotchis. I tell them, 'you will!"

3:35pm Webster was spontainiously sick at about 2pm. His status was good, and I had to innoculate him twice to restore his health. He was not very hungry this morning, but did in the afternoon. I have not had the opportunity to discipline him yet today, and his discipline status remains at 3/4. Overall, he is 3 years, 10 oz, (I played some extra games with him earlier) discipline 3/4, hunger and happiness at 4 full hearts.

5:35pm At last! He beeped for attention when he really did not need to, so I could scold him and get his discipline quota filled. I have seen some gossip that this must be filled before he changes into the next stage.

Animated Gif of display for 4th stage 9:00pm At 7:41pm Webster sounded a little song, his display shimmered, and he advanced to the stage pictured at left! I am a proud care-taker. His discipline level dropped to 1/2, and a little while later he pooped. Off and on I checked on him, feeding him a playing with him to keep him at 4 full hearts. Earlier, I found that no matter how many games I played with him, his weight would not drop to less than 10 oz. If it was higher, it would drop one oz with each game. Just before 9, his bedtime, I checked and cleaned up after him, so he would go to sleep with a clean enviornment. Now when he sleeps, he has a little bed.

Day 4, 5/18/97

10:13am He awoke promptly at 9am, and greeted the day. 4 hearts all around.

3:53am I just fed and played a few games with Webster. I rarely give him snacks. I have found while playing the game, that if I do not wait for Webster to finish crowing or pouting after my guess, but instead click the A or B button twice in a row quickly, that I almost always guess correctly. No discipline sessions today. I put Webster on a clip, so I can keep him attached to a belt loop. The clip allows me to unclip him easily and play with him.

10:08am Uh-oh. I did an innattentive thing. I was working on another web page to add to this site, when I heard Webster chirp his 'go to bed' lullabye. I felt a chill, and realized I had not checked him before he went to sleep. With fear and trepidation, I checked him and found him asleep with his poop alongside his bed! I could not clean it, I could only turn off the light.

Day 5, 5/19/97

11:23am Webster woke up this morning, and I was able to clean up the mess that had remained all night. He seems unfazed by the experience. I had expectations that he would need massive innoculations, maybe even a visit to the Tamagotchi emergency ward. But he seems fine. I am going to take him with me today to introduce him to a few friends who have heard of him, and want to meet him.

3:55pm Christine's Tamagotchi, Tobias Hale-Bopp, has grown into the next stage, a `Masuku-chi'. She is disappointed in that he is not as cute as before, and is the 'selfish' character. If it does go to sleep late as the description states, she may have difficulties in that it will go to bed later than she does. However, it is the character that can grow further into the 'secret' character, which would be interesting.

11:55pm It is the middle of the night, and I was thinking that Webster is 6 years old, about 1/4 of his probable life span. When he has passed on, will I restart a new Tamagotchi? Would it be Webster? I don't know. It could be another being, but could I repeat this experience? I find that I regard Webster as alive. He is simple, and his game very crude, but I do not control him. At 9 pm he went to sleep, and even though I wanted to play with him at 10pm, I could not. But when he awakens tommorrow, I again will have no choice, but to attend to him. He is alive because I am alive, and extend my being into my perceived experience with his container. I think that when Webster has run his course, I will give this Tamagotchi to someone else to experience. I will not need to do it again. This is what brings me to put so much attention into him, knowing that I will experience this only once. And if I can fully engage, then I can let go, knowing that there is nothing left that was undone. No aspect that requires me to linger. It is as if the knowledge of how fleeting and finite the interaction is gives me the freedom to fully grasp and then let go. Written on the wall in the Theater shop of SUNY at Albany was the saying: "Do everything as if you had all the time in the world, and live every day as if it were your last". I keep rediscovering further meaning in this phrase.

Day 6, 5/20/97

4:23pm I have found Webster to be needing a little more attention today. Around noon he became ill, with no apparent cause. I had to innoculate him twice. And this afternoon his happiness level droops more often. I am curious about what his next stage will be. About this age is when Tobias changed, and I will be on the lookout. I had one chance to increase Webster's discipline level today. I do not know if more opportunities arise, and I just miss them. Status: 6 years, 20 ounces, discipline full, and four hearts for both happiness and hunger meters.

Animated Gif of display for 4th stage 9:06pm Oh Frabjous day! Webster made his final change at about 8:45pm. He is now a 'Mamethci', who looks to me like the nicest character. The Bandai growth chart says: "Good health, long life & no complaints". He sort of looks like he is jogging in place, or prancing. I think this is a noble rebirth/change. It is after 9pm, and he is still awake. I have no idea what time he will go to sleep. The discipline level did not drop during this change.

10:00pm Bedtime! I wonder if he will vary, or always go to sleep at 10pm.

Day 7, 5/21/97

9:25am Webster was already up at 9:05, so I do not know when he woke up. His hunger scale was 4 full hearts, but happiness was down one heart, so I started to play with him. Suprise! The game is tough now! I played 7 games in a row, losing all of them. Finally I managed to get a 3 - 2, and fill that last heart. Either the timing has changed, so that my old habits are no longer usefull, or I am just out of it this morning. But 7 games in a row says that it is not mere chance.

Day 8, 5/22/97

8:35am I am awake first, and little Z's are dancing on his screen. I wonder whether Tamagotchis will be the rage here in the United States. Our culture is significantly different from Japan's, and some of the qualities of Webster might not be compatable for everyone here to love Tamagotchis. Here in the States, kids are used to games that have scores, and you either 'win' or 'lose'. Even though Tamas are not that kind of toy, it has an LCD screen, and buttons which tend to make one think of a game toy. Attention span might be another problem. I think we have shorter ones here, and Tamas are a longer term process, like tending a garden. It is a nurturing experience. In Japan, I think that patience and attention to subtleties is a stronger trait than here. I think that kids here will be itching to hit the reset button after their Tamas reach their final adult stage. I have already had emails back and forth with jej, who is unhappy that he has a Masuku-chi, and was asking me how to do better. He mentioned that he was going to reset his and start again.

9:25am Webster is proving to be a very low maintenance fellow. I am starting to get email from other Tamagotchi caretakers (more is welcome!). Here is an interesting one with my response-

> I read your diary before I purchased my own Tamagotchi, and found very
> informative. However you seem to keep refering to 'Webster' as a living
> thing. He does not qualify as a living thing, even sentient. First, 'living'
> could be considered the quality of having organs etc;, however 'living' and
> sentient are not the same things. So though, no computers are 'living' we
> are working on computers that are sentient. To be sentient, the main quality
> is self-awareness. If you do not know of your own existance, then you are
> not 'alive'. maybe someday we'll be able to create a pet that actually
> 'lives' more so than Tamagotchi. Oh well, little, 'Fugu' (my tama's name) is
> quite content in the second stage. and there becoming more popular in Canada
> now.....
> Adi Ashburner
> "Fan-fugu-tastic"- Homer Simpson

Living is an interesting term.  On a spritual level, either everything is
alive, or everything is non-living.  There is no state where there is a mix.

When everything external is merely energy and motion, then all is experienced
by your own consciousness as elements of itself reflected from an external 
reality - one that is not directly experienced.

So when I extend or project my consciousness into my Tamagotchi, then it is
as alive as I am.  It becomes an element of my self.  Is my fingernail alive?
Is the part I trim off alive?  

I found a site that has an intellectual discussion of such issues-


Day 9, 5/23/97

8:05pm Very quiet Tamagotchi day- Been busy with the rest of my life. Received the following email from jej about Arlo.

>         I'm not going to reset, it is like a baby, you can't just kill it
> and start over, it's already 18 years old, and it has CHANGED into the
> SECRET CHARACTER!  It is horribly ugly, although it looks like a human
> face.  The game is considerably harder.  I believe Tama's are somewhat
> "Alive".  Well, I'm shooting for a long life for Arlo.  See ya.
> --Josh
> Josh J.

I agree with you-  it is 'alive', and deserves to run it's natural life.
I'm glad you are doing what you can to keep Arlo going.


Day 10, 5/24/97

8:35pm I was a neglectful caregiver last night - (again!). I went out for the evening, and forgot to clean up after Webster's evening poop, and then did not turn off the light. I turned it off at 2am when I got home. He seems okay today, and did not get sick. I think I have mastered the game, and can rip off 5 - 0 's at will. Rather than truly random, it seems to have a time based pattern, and the time delay before you push the buttons determines the left or right turn.

Day 11, 5/25/97

5:35pm I received a sad email from Christine about Tobias Hale-Bopp. Tobias has returned to his planet, hitching a ride on his namesake and joining his fellow Heaven's gate members.

Sad news. Tobias flew away yesterday, while I was not looking. I fear I let him down as he was stuffed in my purse for four hours and might have needed feeding or attention. So we have an opening for a systems administrator...

Becki has the egg now and has hatched Ozias. With all of the real pets in her house why on earth she would want a virtual one is beyond me. Though cleaning up virtual poop is MUCH more pleasant than cleaning up puppy poop I suppose!

I was truly a little sad to see he'd gone.

This has made me a little more protective of Webster, a reminder that he is fragile.

Day 14, 5/28/97

2:20pm Webster is doing fine, going strong and marching along. Age: 14, Weight: 32oz (I rarely feed him snacks). In the last day or two, he seems to need more food and attention. His hearts evaporate with a greater frequency. Before I could leave him be for 2 hours or so, and he would only drop one or two hearts. Now he droops 3 or 4 in the same timespan. In the last 3 days he was sick once, and one injection cured him.

Animated Gif of Tamagotchi Angel

Day 16, 5/30/97

4:36pm Very Sad Day. Webster has flown home. I had left him alone for about 1 and a half hours at noon today, and when I returned, he had flown off. I had some indications that this might be close, but I did not want to believe it. Yesterday, he would become unhappy quicker, drooping to 1 heart in less than an hour. I also had to feed him more often. But I did not want to adjust myself to check him more frequently, or carry him everywhere. I sort of pretended that he would go back to what I had been used to, where I could ignore him for a few hours at a time. I think this all began a couple of days ago when I had a close call with him. I went on a canoe trip which was to be about 2 hours, and it went longer. I did not get back to Webster until about 4 hours had gone by, and he was down to 0 hearts in happiness and hunger. His attention icon was on. I quickly fed and played with him, but since then he was needing more frequent attention. I wonder if when you slip in taking care of them, they are subsequently weaker.

When I first saw the angel display, I felt sadness, then guilt. But now I also feel some release from attending to him. I am asking my friends here in VT if one would like to take care of the next incarnation of my Tamagotchi.

This page is hosted on VTweb, which has an excellent set of directories for tourists to Vermont, USA.

Tamagotchi links

Playing Virtual Parent to a Bitwise Baby
This is the first part of a series of articles from the New York Times web site. The author chronicles his experiences with his Tamagotchi. Well written and engaging.
Tamagotchi Fever !
Excellent site, with all kinds of information. Good graphics, with pages devoted to stages, poetry, and other products. Follow the link to 'The Gathering', where there are several chat areas setup for discussion of tips, stories, and general information.
Tamagotchi Page (Singapore)
Hiro's Tamagotchi
This is a personal Tama page, with a daily update on the status of Hiro's Tamagotchi.
Jun's Tamagotchi Page
The nicest Tamagotchi page, well designed. It has an excellent chart of the different stages, with animated graphics of the corresponding displays.
Tamagotchi collectors page
A site for buying Tamas, with many pictures of the different types. A finder service for rare ones.