Well, I'm here to talk about my experiences of playing a different genre of game, I was given the task of 'looking after a pet', namely a Tamogotchi. Without sounding too negative, those of you that missed this craze at school, you lucky sods...
The game is normally found on a hand-held device with a single game already loaded onto the unit and is based around looking after the digital pet (Compound Elements)
It's a one player game (Behavioural Element)
The interface is via three buttons which could be described as being (from left to right) scroll, select and cancel. (Compound Element)
Depending on what version you have, the egg will evolve into different animals as it grows (Systemic Element)
I downloaded the tamogotchi to my PC, a piece of software that displays the digital pet as a real Tamogotchi (egg-like shape with a square LED screen) there are three buttons to interface with the digital pet. When the game first starts there is just an egg that jumps between to frames to try and portray that there is life within. After roughly 15 minutes the egg hatched to reveal a black and white blob with two eyes. I've called him Sparky as he jumps around like he's being attacked by electric. There are seven selectable pictures/categories on screen:
- A Fork and knife to symbolise food, you have to make sure that he is full, feeding sparky either meals or snacks, denoted by 4 hearts being blacked out as opposed to outlines of 4 hearts meaning empty;
- A light bulb which need's to be turned off if sparky indicates he wants to sleep by two fast moving frames of 'Z' appearing on the top-right of the screen;
- A baseball bat with a ball to denote games, you have to guess whether the next number will be higher or lower than the number that appears on screen. It works on a best of 5 basis so if you get a minimum of three then sparky will be happy which will fill up a different set of 4 hearts denoting happiness;
- A syringe for when a skull appears on screen to advise that sparky is sick;
- A picture of a duck appears next which allows you to give sparky a bath if he's done a dump;
- A weighing scale which is like a User's Interface (UI) to look at Sparky's age, weight, happiness, hunger and discipline;
- A shouting icon for when Sparky is being naughty to tell him off, this is shown on the discipline bar.
There is also a non selectable picture at the end which is highlighted when something is wrong with Sparky
It seems that Sparky ages a year everyday, I suspect the older he gets the harder it will be to look after him making sure he is well fed, well looked after and disciplined on a regular basis, possibly with having more illnesses as he grows up. So far though, its not been difficult to continue the game. I haven't unfortunately developed a like for the game and see it more as a burden, perhaps the game only appeals to a younger mentality, hence its popularity with younger children.