I have researched this digital art piece for my term paper project and thought it was so interesting so I wanted to share it here.
The website with full information is here:
The Tardigotchi is a project collaborated by SWAMP and Tiago Rorke which involves a capsule with a virtual pet, shown on an LED screen as an avatar. On the other side of the capsule is a real life organism, a tardigrade, which a microorganism measuring half a millimeter in length. By feeding the virtual pet, the real organism gets fed, too. Also, via e-mail, you can send your virtual pet rays of sun, which will show on the avatar screen. A lamp will light up and keep your real life pet warm. The project involves human attachment to a virtual object, just as my project’s concept deals with.
The Tardigotchi project is based off the Japanese toy that was a fad in the 1990s, Tamigotchi. This toy featured just a virtual pet that you could feed and play with. If you forgot to feed the virtual pet, the virtual pet would die. I remember being attached to my Tamigotchi, and actually got sad when the pet would die or get sick.
People now a days are using virtual worlds and objects to replace real life interactions. Facebook is now a way to replace real socialization. Amazon is a way to shop online. Roleplaying games such as World of Warcraft take you to a fantasy world, unlike the one we live on. The Tamigotchi replaces the need to have a real pet. These artificial life forms and virtual worlds are a new social problem in today’s times, showing that people can get attached emotionally to virtual and unreal things.