The Tamagotchi Hacking Community’s Quest to Cheat Death
March 23, 2020 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Tamogotchi traditionally live for a maximum of 24 days before the spirit of death visits them and they ascend into heaven. With inconsistent care and feeding, it can be even less, with an average lifespan of around 10 days. However, a community of hackers has gathered to share strategies for giving your Tamogotchi eternal life, with a range of strategies from manipulating the in-game clock to minor physical alterations on the Tamogotchi's circuit board all the way up to soldering it into permanent debug mode, where a Tamogotchi can never die.
posted by Copronymus (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Look upon my handheld digital pets, ye mighty, and Despair!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:37 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


permanent debug mode, where a Tamogotchi can never die."
Existence is pain!
posted by boilermonster at 8:52 AM on March 23 [6 favorites]


Are their "days" longer than ours, or was this thing disposable in less than a month after purchase?
posted by Selena777 at 8:59 AM on March 23


Disposable? Maybe. Liable to be taken away by parents before then for causing obsession and emotional distress? Extremely.
posted by zeptoweasel at 9:09 AM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Are their "days" longer than ours, or was this thing disposable in less than a month after purchase?

You get a new infant Tamogotchi when one dies, so it's not like you needed to keep buying the devices, it's just hard to keep a specific one around if you've become attached to it for whatever reason.
posted by Copronymus at 9:16 AM on March 23 [8 favorites]


permanent debug mode, where a Tamogotchi can never die.

It has no mouth, and it must scream (or at least beep incessantly when hungry)
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:17 AM on March 23 [5 favorites]


[grabs soldering iron] looks like tamagotchi heaven is full
posted by phooky at 9:19 AM on March 23 [13 favorites]


coulda used this info in middle school.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:34 AM on March 23 [3 favorites]


See also Natalie Silvanovich's incredible 2012 CCC talk about hacking Tamagotchi:
Many Tamagotchis Were Harmed in the Making of this Presentation
posted by wordless reply at 9:51 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


You have known, O Gilgamesh,
What interests me,
To drink from the Well of Immortality.
Which means to make the dead
Rise from their graves
And the prisoners from their cells
The sinners from their sins.
I think love's kiss kills our heart of flesh.
It is the only way to eternal life,
Which should be unbearable if lived
Among the dying flowers
And the shrieking farewells
Of the overstretched arms of our spoiled Tamagotchis.

posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 11:58 AM on March 23 [5 favorites]


[grabs soldering iron] looks like tamagotchi heaven is full

“Gosh, you've really got some nice toys here.”
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:51 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


I'm of three minds on this.

On one hand, I love the idea of a toy that dies. I'm astonished that it became a commercial product rather than a museum installation. But, it's a fascinating idea.

On the other hand, I wonder if this isn't an indication that adding a "don't die" switch to the toy would have appealed to some customers.

On the other, other hand, I suspect the hacking actually is the game for some people. This isn't a toy designed for me and I don't really understand the appeal, so it's unfair to dismiss the intended interaction, no matter how unappealing it sounds. But, I'd be 1000 times more excited to hack a tamagotchi than to play with an stock tamagotchi. I suspect the hacking, not they toy, is the game that will be remembered fondly when these kids (and young adults) go on to build cool shit in the future.
posted by eotvos at 1:22 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


I never played with one long enough to know it could die o.O
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:30 PM on March 23


obligatory onion (from 23 years ago!)
posted by bruceo at 12:40 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]


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