‘Tis the season for being reminded of how utterly alone we are. Why not fill that gaping hole with a digital pet? Whether it’s a keychain device with a virtual character to take care of or a stuffed animal that mews and purrs like a cat, you’d be surprised at the amount of comfort either of those can bring a person on their darkest of daylight saving days.
I speak from experience as Gizmodo’s resident virtual pet expert, a title that I just gave myself and hope my editor will accept. (Ed. note: Accepted. -CM) While a virtual/digital pet isn’t a complete replacement for a warm-blooded animal, it’s much easier to clean up after. And in many cases, you can take out the battery when life gets too busy to care for them.
Here are some picks for the best virtual pets available to buy, provided you have the emotional bandwidth to care for them. We’ve included everything from the many Tamagotchi (many, many Tamagotchi), along with a lifelike stuffed pet you can buy at the drugstore to help ease your fears of sleeping alone.