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White Buffalo

Observe in awe and hatred. I love how they go into how much it costs to keep a real bird in the comercial. Perfect for the sprawl.
I am sure the Japanacorps jump at that thing, too. With Overcrowded Neo-Tokyo they are sure a hit.
You folks remember Tamagotchis, right? wink.gif

Yes, I have fond memories of those, now drop your tamagochi and huch over to the new AND improved martial arts thread.

Eh, waiting for more people to weigh in. I have ideas, but we've tossed out a bunch already, giving people time to digest and add their own comments before wading back in.

Back on topic, droid pets are tricky to get right. People love to anthropomorphize, and to form emotional attachments with non-living things, but it can be very hard to predict what sorts of things will elicit positive responses, and what sorts of things will send people fleeing in terror from the Uncanny Valley, or even just fail to produce any sort of response at all.

For example, people love the Companion Cube from Portal (MINOR SPOILERS AHOY!), but it was never actually planned to be something you were supposed to bond with. It was originally just a normal cube like the rest, but the test it appears in was long and required you to bring the cube with you, and people were either forgetting about the cube or just not realizing they needed to bring it with them and getting stuck. Since having GLaDOS give you hints would have been out of character, they decided to make the cube more memorable by giving it hearts, so that you'd be drawn to it because it was different than all the other cubes.

This worked too well. People started exhibiting the opposite behavior of wanting to bring the cube with them even beyond the confines of the test it was designed for, and playtesters started trying to game the system or glitch the cube through the end doorway of the test so they could keep it with them for subsequent tests. Hence, Valve had to come up with a way to force players to part with the cube.

That said, you'd think that once they observed the Companion Cube's effect on people, they would have realized that it would end up as a sort of viral meme and would make for great merchandizing, right? Nope, they actually thought they had a different viral meme ready to spring forth from the game. At the very end of the game, in the ensuing chaos and destruction, a hoop of metal falls out of the air and rolls across the camera's field of vision. Apparantly the people at Valve thought this was absolutely hilarious and memetically memorable, and were actually expecting "Hoopy" to take off as a sort of mascot character for the series, while simultaneously not realizing the Companion Cube would be so explosively popular.

Which just goes to show you, people are weird, and trying to predict what sorts of non-human objects will elicit an emotional response in them is hard.

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