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.