Freitag, 21. Juni 2013

Die Vogelgrippe der besonderen Art: Tamagotchi / The avian flu named Tamagotchi

Für die deutsche Version dieses Artikels bitte hier klicken! 

At the end of the 1990s a special „bird flu“ messed up the brains of every kid around the planet. The symptoms: ecstatic chuckles, cheers, screaming, loud aaaah and ooohs and finally hypnotic faces starring apathetically at a small screen. It made cute noises like cheep-cheep and tweet-tweet. The inherent illness suddenly emerged as a brilliant gaming-trend from Japan - the Tamagotchi-flue broke out. 



Bandai’s electric toy was THE next big thing after stickers, plastic dummies, trolls and Polly Pockets had their fifteen minutes of fame. For all those who, in spite of the latest revival 2004, still don’t know what this is all about: A Tamagotchi isa virtual chick you can raise like a real pet. In comparison to it’s real pendant, this little egg has a reset button you can push in case your little chicken has died – whether out of neglect or simply due to bad luck.

I got infected by this flu as well. A report in Germany’s famous youth magazine BRAVO was enough to start my incubation time. But until I got one of those cyber eggs to call my own a few more days or weeks had to pass: They we’re totally sold out. 


http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0894/mamet.gif„My Tamagotchi pood!“ Just to say these words of happiness I fought myself through a bunch of parents and kids in our local toy store. Just imagine an apple store on the day the new iPhone comes out. This is what hell must look like. 

Like all of my classmates and friends who owned an original Tamagotchi or one of the many rip-off’s I was absolutely obsessed with it. This virtual pet ruled my daily life, my entries in my diary and it made school look even more uninteresting than it already was. Geared by the promise from Bandai that the evolution of your lil’ chick would depend on how well you care for it, I did my best to raise one of the beautiful versions. But I had no chance. Everytime I just achieved the average version. Until today I am convinced that there was a pre-programmed version in every plastic egg. Even though Wikipedia claims this was a rumour. 


Just like you recover from the flu the time of the Tamagotchi went by almost as quickly as it had come. But the Tamagotchi thing was more than just an ephemeral trend. The impressive numbers of sales and rip-offs proof that on one hand. On the other hand the German Euro-Dance-Duo Sqeezer set a musical monument for the most popular egg ever since the surprise and Fabergé-Egg: Their single „Tamagotchi (Tschoopapa...)“ was released in 1998 and became the official Tamagotchi song worldwide. (Yes, I admit: I bought the single AND I am listening to it until today.) Even one of Germany’s most famous rock bands „Die Ärzte“ composed a song dedicated to the little egg on their LP „auch“ in 2012- 15 years after the big hype!


Die Ärzte - Tamagotchi

Money-makers always get pushed out till the max. So since 1997 a few cartoon TV-series, a short movie and loooot of merchandise were released. You can still watch some of these super cute, freaky and really funny mini episodes from „Let’s go – Tamagotchi“ in an English dubbed version on Bandai-US YouTube channel. 
 
Let's go, Tamagotchi - Episode 1

Encouraged by this series in 2008 I bought myself a Tamagotchi of the new generation. It was fun and brought me some nostalgic moments but it just wasn’t the same as it was back in 1997. But with the beginning of the smartphone trend the thought of a Tamagotchi for your mobile phone came to my mind. Either I can look into the future or the japanese producers can read my mind. Why? Because at the beginning of this year’s february Bandai announced a Tamagotchi app for the smartphone. 

The sweet Memetchi! DANCE!
True cult just can’t be beaten. Just have a look at the moneymaking machines like Star Wars, Superman or Sailor Moon who all seem to be coming back to life these times. Our mobilephone addiction is going to be taken onto another level. The next „avian flu“ when children and adults will show each other their mobiles and cheer about the poo of their mobile pet is going to start soon. But don’t ask for an immunization, it will be all in vain. Just switch off your brains or mobiles.

And now all together:
„Tschoopapa Dudeidammdamm....!“ 

Sqeezer - Tamagotchi (Tschoopapa...)



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