tamaGODchi is a visual novel game mini-series written on the Ren’Py engine. You follow a nameless protagonist that finds herself lost in cyberspace. Stripped from all memory, she wanders around the world in hopes for answers. Rather than the ‘internet’ as a vessel of communication, she finds these entities, these denizens of the Net, and finds out that perhaps. In Episode 0, you learn of her habits and what got her into this situation, and meet two cute but disturbed characters. One of them seems friendly at first, but things get eerie as the player delves deeper into the darkness.

The idea for this game arose purely by chance. When I was coding my original game idea, a nononsense dating SIM game called “^^^^,” I messed up. As a result, when launched, the entire screen went blank and only the text remained. It sort of looked like my computer was talking to me. I started thinking about how we always talk to the internet, but the internet never talks back to us. tamaGODchi is an imagining of what the Internet would be like.

With almost 1000 lines of writing, tamaGODchi is an exploration of the Internet as a religious being. It brings to the forefront our relationship we have with the fast-pace growth of technology and our dependence on it. Though this is the completed version, there is still a lot of work to be done. Originally, I had planned for much more dynamism. I am still planning on going back and revising it a million times over. But it was nice to dip my hand in and learn some basic code. I glitched out pictures, curated the sound effects, and wrote the entire script. Though it proved very difficult, I really enjoyed making this game and writing out the script.

tamaGODchi argues that video games, though a fairly new medium, have the ability to be taken as a serious art form that can provide a solid, engaging narrative tackling real issues. There is a lot to be explored in that regard, and I hope you follow tamaGODchi in the future!