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What Are the Different Types of Virtual Reality Pets?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Different types of virtual pets include those that are available on small devices devoted to the care of the pet and pets that are available in other types of software. Virtual pet devices include a wide range of small electronic devices that usually include a small screen that shows the pet in a graphical form and buttons for interacting with it. There are also a number of software programs that can be installed and used to interface with a virtual pet in other devices, including computers and mobile devices. Some virtual reality pets are part of other programs, including games designed to feature other aspects of gameplay and include virtual pets.

Also called virtual pets, virtual reality pets are digital representations of pets that can be interacted with in a variety of ways. Some of the simplest types of virtual pets are those that exist on a small electronic device specifically made for interacting with virtual reality pets. These devices usually have a small screen that shows an image or animation of the pet, often a dog, cat, or small monster, and different buttons that can be used to “care for” the pet in numerous ways. The virtual reality pets may be programmed to require attention or food on a timer; otherwise the virtual pets may become “unhappy” or even “die.”

There are also a number of software programs that can be used to create and interact with virtual reality pets on other devices. Computer programs, for example, can be installed to create a wide range of different types of virtual pets, including anything from horses and dogs to dragons and monsters. These are often similar to the virtual reality pets found on dedicated devices, and require “feeding” and other interaction from the user on a timed basis. Such programs can also be more elaborate and complex than those on small devices, and can be used on computers and mobile devices such as phones and tablet computers.

Some computer and video games are designed to allow for other types of gameplay but include virtual reality pets as an optional aspect of the game. Role-playing games on computers, for example, can include “mini-games” in which the player is able to purchase or raise virtual pets for a variety of reasons. These can be items in games used purely for vanity reasons, often to demonstrate that the player achieved some kind of accomplishment. In other games, however, the virtual reality pets may actually serve a function, including mounts the player character can ride on or animals that help the player in combat.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By clintflint — On May 04, 2014

@Mor - Creatures was a pretty good game, but I remember my sister managed to wipe all my creatures and there was no way to get them back. I don't know if they've ever tried to make another game that devoted to making a realistic virtual pet though. I think mostly nowadays you can find tablet apps that let you play with a cartoon puppy without any kind of real consequences if you neglect it.

By Mor — On May 04, 2014

@pleonasm - I think the games that survived did end up doing that kind of thing, where you can unlock more content the more you play them, but they wouldn't have been self contained gadgets like the tamagochi was, because there was only so much content they could fit into a single device.

I believe the website Neopets has been going for a long time and they often bring out new games and content to keep people playing. Then there are other games I can remember from back in the day that were on the computer but claimed to be close to artificial life. I remember one in particular called Creatures, that was supposed to have a system where you could train your virtual pets and breed them and so forth. I played it as a kid, but I think it was a little bit too in depth for me back then. It was like having to actually take care of a pet without any of the joy of having a real pet.

By pleonasm — On May 04, 2014

I had one of these gadgets when I was a kid and I think it lasted only a week or so before I completely forgot about it and it "died". I couldn't understand how some kids could keep it going for months on end, as it was kind of a boring game and very repetitive after a while.

If it was somehow unlocking different things to do whenever you pass a milestone, maybe it would have kept my interest, but it seemed like quite a waste of money to me at the time.

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