Remember that infuriating (and beloved) ’90s staple, the Tamagotchi? Remember watching Tamagotchi poop pile up on its tiny digital screen? Remember giving it all of your attention and watching it die in complete disregard of your nurturing touch? Now imagine all that, but with an actual purpose.
Tabagotchi is a Google Chrome app, made by the co-working space Breather, that turns the game from a time-sucking frustration into a productivity tool that helps you keep your internet tabs to a minimum. Instead of thwarting your digital pet’s death by tending to it every five minutes, you help it survive by closing your tabs. Every hour you spend with five tabs or fewer, the happier your Tabagotchi will be, evolving from a pixelated radish creature to a cute plant-bunny-cat hybrid.
If you’re the kind of person who opens up tab after tab, murmuring to yourself, “I’ll get to this later,” Tabagotchi is perfect. I can confirm that adding it to my browser has encouraged me to tackle all the tasks in each of my tabs to try to evolve my little internet pal — no easy feat, as someone who fails their New Year’s resolution every year to cut down tabs by January 2. After seeing a black-and-white pixelated ghost on my screen for about a week and witnessing my boyfriend’s plant-bunny evolution, I cut down on tabs and am now the proud owner (?) of the radish creature, who is currently depicted with keyboard expletives to express its distaste for my 16 tabs.