Hi we live in Japan and I am hoping to hear some different ideas.
This past summer we went to the states to visit friends. A friend from church had us over to her house. Her DD has a webkin account and she and my DD spent 20-30 min. playing with it. DD decides she wants a webkin. I tell her that actually someone had given her one years ago. In my mind I could see where I had kept the tag, but another part of my brain wondered if I had thrown it away. (in the end I had thrown it away, just got decluttered after a few years of keeping)
Now a friend here in Japan has a tamagochi. I know they are available in the states also. Yesterday she was upset when her friend was talking to another girl about the tamagochi. Today she said she was still mad at the friend. After some talking it came out she wants the tamagochi. Previously she had said she did not want it, but instead wanted the webkin.
She uses the computer for things like Storytime online, or PBSKids, uptoten etc.. so I am not against screen time, per se.
The friend in the states, (who is a pretty new friend, we became friendly as our kids are the same ages and she is interested in other cultures) talked about how some people have tons of the webkins and how much they are etc.. I did not get the point of having more than one. Once you have the code to unlock the website is that not enough?
Even though I live in Japan I am not too familiar with the tamagochi (which is also a virtual pet) I remember the first generation ones and the controversy they caused as students could not bring them to school but there was no *off/pause* switch so the pets all died during the day.
I don't really want to get her both. I am not 100% sure I want to get her either one. LOL.
Anyway, happy to hear any thoughts or opinions or comparisons of them.
I know nothing about the Tamogochi pets. I know LOTS about webkinz because both of my kids love them -- though if my 11 YO DS knew I was saying that he would kill me. LOL.
Anyway, my 7 YO DD does, indeed, collect webkinz. Not to have different online characters but because she loves the actual plush animals to play with. THey all have names, personalities, and she take at least one just about everywhere she can (not to school -- no toys allowed there). For her, they are more interesting than dolls for imaginative play. She does also play in the online world and enjoys having lots of different pets there too, but if it were just to play online, one would probably suffice.
Online there are games to play by yourself (the arcade), games to play against other players (the arena), and other things for the pets to do. DD especially likes to shop for and dress up her animals. I thought DD would enjoy meeting up with her IRL friends in Webkinz world but that turned out to be hard to arrange as everyone seems to have different times they are allowed/likely to be online. There is a chat feature but its very safe with pre-selected phrases that you click on, no actual free-form typing allowed. So they can't share personal info or say anything inappropriate. There is also an option "type whatever" sort of chat option but you can block it (I have done so), and it still checks for inappropriate words, numbers (so you can't give a phone number) and such.
I like the fact that the oline webkinz characters sort of go into stasis if they aren't actually being played with. So if you aren't playing with a particular character online, or haven't been online for a while, they don't get hungry or sick or die. If you are playing online with a particular pet and don't feed them when they are hungry. then they do get "sick" and need to go to the clinic. They always get better. But even if you have 20 webkinz, only the 1 you are using just then will get hungry, if that makes sense.
The only downside might be that the account expires after a year unless you add another pet, then both pets are good for another year. As long as the account is active, all pets are active. So if she really likes it, you'll need to buy at least one pet a year.
11 YO DS also has several and they still sleep in his bed with him. HE plays online much less frequently and finds the games a bit too easy at this point. I confess that I enjoy playing some of the online games as well -- sort of "turn off your mind" therapy.
My 7-yr old daughter has SEVEN webkinz -- and I did not buy her any!! It seems to be the "it" gift for birthdays since all the kids want them. I allow her to play the online site a few times a week and she loves it. She does the games, dresses her pets, gardens, decorates rooms, and trades stuff with other players. She got her first when she was 5 and it seems the older she gets, and the more computer literate, the more things she can find to do on the site. She also loves the actual stuffed animals. She has asked for a specific one for Christmas, so I guess seven is not enough!
Sorry I can't help with the other choice -- know nothing about it!
I had a tomogatchi once, back when they were new and cool toy from Japan. I think I still have it around here somewhere, not sure were though. They are neat little toys, but can be problematic because the pets do die eventually. Either from not being cared for or from old age. That being said, I have heard that the new ones have a pause feature and I don't think you have to go online to play. And my understanding of webkinz is the account deactivates after a year unless you buy another, tomogatchi doesn't do (you just have to hit the right buttons and you get a new egg to hatch).
If it looks like I'm trying to pick a fight... I'm not, I'm rarely that obvious.
Thanks for all the impute. I will try to see what she really wants Santa to bring her. Or I guess she was going to ask my mom for a webkinz... I did not think she needed both.
I do think Tamagochi has gotten to where the pets don't die, you can sort of put the on *hold* or something. You can also trade information with other people. I am not very techie, I saw two of DDs friends holding the tamagochi near each other and transmitting information via....??? You can do this with cell phones also, but I don't... so again clueless.
I think she would get more out of the webkinz. So one thought I have had is to give the other girl one for Christmas also... so they can both do it *together*, this girl is Japanese but speaks English, something none of DDs other friends do.