Virtual Pet: Trends of Development

Daria Bylieva
St. Petersburg State Technical University
Information technologies are fundamentally changing modern society. Almost any human activity, including the caring for a pet, is acquiring new formats related to communication in the virtual space. The authors analyzed such a phenomenon as a virtual pet that has been developing since the early 90s of the 20th century on the basis of more than 100 different virtual pet modifications. The most popular among users and purchased more than 1 million times a year around the world are examined in details in this research (video game Petz, Tamagotchi, Furby, Nintendogs, Neopets, My Talking Tom). Thus in this study the evolution of a digital pet is represented. We analyzed how a person models it according to his needs and identified the main trends of the virtual pet development. These basic directions are advanced similarity with a real pet, development of entertaining aspect, virtual pet applying for practical purposes. We proposed four main factors for analyzing changes in the human-virtual pet relationship: touch, game, communication and social interaction concerning the pet.
Keywords Virtual pet  Digital pet   Virtual reality
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