Do you have a virtual pet? Please tell us about it!


As part of a research project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we are collecting stories from virtual pet owners around the world.
If you have a Furby, Tamagotchi, GigaPet, or another kind of virtual or digital pet, we'd like to hear about your experiences with it. We seek stories from a range of virtual pet owners, adults as well as children. Read the questions and answers below to see what to do to participate in this project.


WHAT DO WE MEAN BY "stories about virtual pets"?

      Right now, we are interested in all kinds of stories. For example, we'd like to know about things you and your pet have done together, and about your relationship with it. What do you like (and not like) about it? What did you expect it to be like before you got it? How did it live up to your expectations (or not)? What is it like to be a caretaker for a virtual pet?
      We would like to hear your fictional stories about virtual pets, too. Just remember - if you send us a made-up story about living with a virtual pet, we need to know that it didn't really happen. Label it "FICTION" clearly, at the beginning, if it's an imaginary story.
      In the future, we may post some more specific questions, so check back!.


      The easiest thing to do is to email it to

      You can also send your stories by mail to:
       Virtual Pet Project
        Massachusetts Institute of Technology, E51-296c
        Program in Science, Technology, and Society
        77 Massachusetts Avenue
        Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 USA

      If you live in the Boston area, call and leave a message at 617-253-4068, and we will try to arrange a meeting with you and your virtual pet.
      No matter how you contact us, please remember to give us a way to reach you if we have any questions (email address, phone number, mailing address). We'd also like to know your name, age, and gender, and where you live, because it will help us to understand the data we collect. Participation in this project is confidential. In published materials, we will use pseudonyms for all participants
      Finally, we need your consent to publish part or all of your story (in print and also on the Web). If you do not want your stories reproduced in publications by us, please include a statement with your story that says "I do not give permission for this story to be included in published materials."


      Sherry Turkle, Professor of Science, Technology and Society at M.I.T., has studied people's experiences with new computational objects for more than twenty years. She is the author of The Second Self and Life on the Screen.
      Jen Audley, research assistant, is an experienced teacher and holds an Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education.


      Furby ®, is property of Tiger Toys/Hasbro, Inc. Tamagotchi ®, is property of Bandai. GigaPets ®, are property of Tiger Electronics. We are not associated with these or other toy companies in any way. We cannot help you get a Furby - or any other toy - and we do not have any special information about where they are available.
      All published findings of this research project will be in the public domain.

Thank you for your help! We can't wait to get your stories!