I entered my second/third grade homeroom class on one dull morning to find one of the third grade boys surrounded by an awestruck group of classmates twirling some keychain around his index finger. I found myself caught in the midst of quite a dilemma. I, too, really needed to check out this new toy, but I was challenged in the height department and not only was I the shortest student in the entire second grade, but I was stuck in a class filled with mostly third graders, which essentially made me a smurf, or more appropriately a leprechaun as I stood a whopping three-feet tall with flaming red locks.
Anyhow, back to this toy. I finally squeezed my way through my classmates and got a good look at this...thing. What was it? It was called a Tamagotchi. It was a Japanese made toy that was a keychain, which fit in the palm of your hand. It had a small black and white screen and three little rubber buttons. Now the tamagotchi was like an innovative, robotic baby doll. Basically, you bought this tamagotchi and the second you turn it on it hatches from its egg. And then this tamagotchi is your child. The three buttons are for the three essential needs of life: food/drink, bathroom, and playtime.
|Image by Nate Lanxon from http://crave.cnet.co.uk|
In fact, this electronic baby was so incredibly demanding of attention it became a mini-epidemic through the halls of the Fort. I'm sure you can guess what happened after that third grader showed off his tamagotchi to the second and third graders. If you're having trouble figuring it out: by lunch every elementary schooler was obsessed with the tamagotchi. Thus, when each child got home to their parents that night he/she begged for the toy.
Come the following Monday and just about every elementary schooler was walking through the halls of the Fort with their eyes glued to their keychain child. class time became disrupted as there were kids shooting their hands in the air every three minutes begging Miss Block to let them feed their tamagotchi. "Samara, we are in math class this is no time for toys." "But Miss Block! My tamagotchi is my CHILD and he is going to DIE if I can't feed him!!!" This same conversation repeated itself endlessly throughout the week until they were officially banned from Fort Garrison Elementary.
And what happened next? Well the cool kids ditched the original tamagotchi and upgraded to the Nano Baby [a tamagotchi on steroids with some more cool features]. Teachers beware!