Animals as pets provide us with a beautiful companionship... a joy that cannot be described. They give us unconditional love and attention, making them an integral part of our lives. However, with the advent of technology, many things have undergone a change. As trends change, so do lifestyles and ultimately, our choices and preferences.
Virtual pets are one of the hottest trends that are doing the rounds. There are many different types that are targeted especially for children. Also known as digital or cyber pets, they basically represent a way of giving artificial companionship to humans. If you are new to this idea, it's time you brief yourself about this concept.
What are Virtual Pets?
A virtual pet is like a personal pet, but which is present in the virtual world. These prove to be useful when children are allergic to fur or any other thing related to pets. They can be of various kinds. Let's check the various ways kids can have fun with the numerous innovative concepts meant to entertain and educate.
Virtual Pets on the Internet
There are many websites that are specifically dedicated to virtual pets. From cute cats to dogs, horses and monkeys, the options found on the Internet are plenty.
The websites display them with details like their color, breed, and even the gender. These can be downloaded on to the computer. Children can then play with them offline. They being interactive, a child can make the pet walk or run only with the help of basic commands.
There are also websites where children can play with them online without the need of downloading any software. However, users may have to register with the site and visit it daily to keep the pet active.
Virtual pet adoption is another trend amongst kids who are hooked on to this activity. Many websites allow users to sign up and adopt a pet and continue with activities such as naming the pet and allowing the user to play games with the pet.
The virtual pets also give a sense of reality through their different actions. These animated actions also depend upon the way a user moves the mouse for the animated character to perform a particular action.
Virtual Pets as Toys
Virtual pets also refer to 'toys' that are available in stores. They appear like any other normal toy but with a touch of difference. These gadgets have a small screen that displays the image of the pet. Children can feed a pet, wash it, clean it, and even take it for a walk. The tasks that can be performed vary with every brand that manufactures these.
One interesting thing about such pets is that one can train it, dress it up, help it to meet other animals, and besides, the pet can even 'complain' when handled in an incorrect way. This way, children can learn how to play in a way that would not harm the animals. Many pets come with a code. This code is required to register the user on the website.
Can Virtual Pets Replace Real Pets?
The virtual pet dog can give a lick over the screen. However, it cannot replace a warm loving lick from an actual dog! Therefore, there have been many debates over the effect of such pets on kids. The virtual world may mislead children to believe things unknowingly and lose connection with the real world. This has been a cause of concern for parents.
Virtual pets do transfer the user into a different world entirely. These can be used for educational purposes to teach children new things. The pros and cons will always remain a subject of debate. Therefore, it lies entirely up to the parents to know how to monitor the use of virtual pets. Perhaps, then we can truly benefit from such devices.