On October 26 of last year, a user named “psychotama” made his first entry in what would become a detailed online diary, otherwise known as a “Tama log.”
“I’m not quite sure how to begin,” he wrote in purple Comic Sans. “My journey with Tamagotchi began about 13 years ago.”
Psychotama, who’s in his 20s and a senior oboe student at a Cleveland music conservatory, went on to explain his rich history with the egg-shaped digital pets that became wildly popular in the ’90s. After seeing other kids with them at school, he begged his parents to buy him one. When he was finally gifted a translucent orange “V1” — a version of the device released in 2004 — he was hooked. Within six months, he had about six running at the same time. His collection ballooned to 36 Tamas (short for Tamagotchi) with the aid of his mom, who helped him bid on eBay auctions of Japanese Tamagotchis not available in America. At the most intense point of his hobby, he cared for 20 all at once. But his obsession eventually faded, and, like so many Beanie Babies, Furbys, and Pogs of the past, his Tamagotchi collection was placed in a box and put aside.
Four years later, the day of first entry, psychotama decided to restart his old hobby. One day after school, he picked up two of his little friends: an original 1997 Tamagotchi device (known colloquially among collectors as a “P1”), and a later Tamagotchi Connection Version 2 (known as a “V2”).