Tamagotchi

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Tamagotchi

[Japanese; cute little egg] space-age cyberpet; a solely electronic state; indigenous to Japan, appearing as an egg on a liquid-crystal screen. Life history, consisting of hatching, feeding, beeping when not fed, sleeping in 12 hour snatches, growing, dying prematurely if neglected, flying away, is completed usually in 2 weeks with maximum recorded life span 4 weeks. The low maintenance costs and brief life span appear to have been designed to suit society's average desired investment level and affection span for a house pet. An unfriendly addition to the veterinary profession's list of exotic companion animals.