Technology refers to the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes. Over the years, technology brought forth different products that would make man’s life more convenient and enjoyable. The products include, but are not limited to computers, televisions, radio, satellites, light bulb, automobiles, robots, and mobile phones. Others include virtual simulations of real life phenomena like life simulation games, virtual assistants and artificial intelligence. Technology greatly affected mankind as it helped them achieve things which may seem impossible to attain and gain truth and knowledge from things which may seem complicated to decode or understand. Through the years to come, technology will continue to lead man to the path of scientific advancement.
A virtual pet is a type of an artificial human companion. Virtual pets differ from real pets as they have no concrete physical form other than the hardware they run on. On the other hand, like a real animal, if a virtual pet is neglected, it can get sick and die. Interaction with virtual pets may or may not be goal oriented, depending on the player. If the interaction is goal oriented, then the player must keep it alive as long as possible and often help it to grow into higher forms. In order to keep the pet alive a player often has to ‘feed’, ‘groom’, and ’play’ with his or her virtual pet. If it is not goal oriented, then the player may experiment with the game by trying out different pets to know which one he or she likes to take care of.
A virtual pet can be a simulation of real or imaginary animals in computers, tablets, smartphones, or sometimes, in electronic toys. Virtual pet games are a subclass of life simulation games. Life simulation games are about “maintaining and growing a manageable population of organisms”, where players are given the power to control the lives of autonomous creatures or people. One thing that distinguishes virtual pets from other simulation games is, it is designed to be ‘cute’ and it has the ability to act out on a range of emotions based on a player’s interaction.
Aside from providing entertainment to players, the main purpose of virtual pet games is to teach players the responsibilities of taking care of a pet. A virtual pet game could be used as a training for a person who wants to adopt an animal as a pet. It can help people determine if they are committed to taking care of a real animal. Plus, virtual pet games can be used in lieu of taking care of a real live pet for people who have allergic reactions to certain animals.
The Virtual Pet Caretaking Game proposed by the researchers would be a big help for those people who think of having real pets. It will be developed in the android platform which can only be accessible to android phone users. With this game, they can be taught of the responsibilities of having to take care of a pet. Players will often get to enjoy various interactions with their pets such as feeding them, grooming them, playing with them, and giving them gifts such as accessories. The virtual pets, although ‘cartoony’ in design, will often simulate various reactions from real pets such as barking, yapping, purring, enjoying a good old ‘belly rub’, scratching, etc. It will also include a state indicator to determine if a pet is hungry, upset, bored, sick, lonely, and having the urge to defecate or urinate. This game also exhibits realistic tendencies that could happen if a player forgets to feed, groom, or give medicine to his or her pet. These tendencies include death, sickness, and bad odor caused by unsanitary hygiene.
One of the problems encountered in the Philippines can be seen in its streets. There are various stray dogs, cats and other animals that were once part of a ‘family’ (considering some people often think of pets as part of a family) which are now neglected and are roaming the city in search for food and shelter. These pets, due to hunger, unsanitary hygiene, and being exposed to harsh environmental conditions without shelter, often get sick. They could carry diseases that could harm not only them, but also the human beings. Neglected pets such as these are often pitiful to see. If only the people who were once the owners of these animals knew how to take care of a pet, then problems like these wouldn’t arise.
Some people often think that having a pet is an easy job. They think that they can manage to take care of their pets even if they have work or classes to attend to. They might tell themselves that they are responsible enough to raise pets and would sometimes rush into adopting one without having enough knowledge on how to take care of it. In most cases, people are not prepared to have pets. There will come a time when they will pay little attention to the pets they once adored and showered affections with. This could lead to the detrimental of their pets’ health or sometimes, even death.
Thus, the proponents have decided to develop the Virtual Pet Caretaking Game to train the people before having a real pet. This game will help them know the pet’s needs and wants. Players will learn to be patient and loving with their pets or else the pets get sick or die. This game could also aid the players in choosing the right animal for them to adopt as a pet, in the future. In addition, this game could also be used to determine a player’s commitment to taking care of a real pet. If the pet lived a happy and fruitful life during its virtual lifetime, then this is a good indication that the player or owner of the virtual pet is ready to have a real live pet.
Purpose and Description
This project is addressed to all people who want to raise a pet for the first time, but do not have any idea of what problems they will face if they do. Many people suffer in the process of raising a pet, because they cannot adjust or even simply understand the behavior of their pets. Health of their pet is not properly balanced and proper hygiene is not consistent due to a busy schedule. But the worse scenario is taken and carried by their beloved pets. Because of health problems, these pets are prone to different kinds of viruses and sickness, less exercise will add up and less attention will boost stress that will affect their behavior, action and interaction to people, and other animals.
Virtual Pet Caretaking Game is an application that will let users or players see a forecast of what to do to raise a pet. The player’s main goal in this game is to maintain his or her virtual pet’s health, hygiene, and happiness bars as great as possible. Through this, players will get to train themselves to become good pet caretakers someday.
The game possesses a great Graphical User Interface that will suit to all ages. This means that parents won’t have to worry about guiding their children in playing this game. This game is not only for children, because its goal will suit to all pet lovers out there, and because of its easy to use navigation and controls, the proponents are pretty sure that everybody won’t have a hard time in navigating this game.
Mistakes are acceptable if the pet owners learned from it, but if their pets continue to suffer from the same mistakes, it is a different story. The choice is in the players’ hands. Through a virtual pet game, players will get to learn many things about taking care of a pet.
The primary objective of this project is to develop an application that will temporarily replace the role of real pets in people’s lives. The purpose of replacing a real pet is to expose the people who want to have pets, to all situations that they may face if they raise their own pets. Situations like; how to feed, when to feed or what to feed; is very important and would be very crucial in raising real pets. This will teach people the responsibilities one has to do in order for the pet to survive. Watching and understanding their different emotions are important too and letting them grow healthy in the players’ hands is a must!
This game is designed for children and adults who want to know their responsibilities in raising a pet. This is also for the pet’s safety; because ignorance of pet lovers can harm them and can boost stress that will greatly affect their emotion, action, and interaction with people. This game will simulate behaviors and characteristics of a real pet, to let a user or a player feel that he or she is raising a real pet. If the user is doing something wrong, the virtual pet will react accordingly.
Below are the specific objectives of the study
1. To develop a game which simulates virtual pets to temporarily replace real animals as pets.
2. To develop virtual pets which can simulate the behaviors of real animals.
3. To teach people the proper ways of taking care of a pet.
4. To assess if a person is suitable in raising or adopting a real animal as a pet.
5. To provide a user friendly interface that suits for all ages.
6. To provide user convenience by implementing simple navigation or controls.
Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study of Virtual Pet Caretaking Game covers the processes of simulating virtual pets to mimic real life pets to let the user or player feel that he or she is taking care of a real pet. It will include various things that the user can do to interact with his or her virtual pet such as feeding it, grooming it, playing with it, giving it accessories, and giving it medicine if the pet is sick. The game also covers tendencies that could happen if a virtual pet is not treated right, such as sickness or death. If the pet is raised with affections, then the pet will grow bigger and healthier, up to the last days of its virtual life.
Like a real pet, a virtual pet will not live forever, so taking good care of a virtual pet is a must, if the player wants his or her virtual pet to live a happy virtual life. However, there are features which the proponents would limit for the game, such as, the game will only be developed in a two-dimensional graphic display and the game will not include social interactions with other players over the internet.
Furthermore, by the end of the virtual pet’s lifetime, players can get to assess themselves if they are ready to adopt or raise a real animal as a pet. If the virtual pet lived a happy virtual life, then the player may now adopt or raise a real pet. Otherwise, it can be an indicator that the player needs to have more training in taking care of a virtual pet so that in the future, the player will be ready to adopt or raise real pets.
Courtney from Study Moose