Ok, That’s Just Creepy: Amazing Amanda the Talking Doll and the New Digital Dog Phenomenon from Nintendo

A recent article about the “newest thing” for little girls appeared in the New York Times last week.

There’s a new doll that has voice recognition, facial expressions to ‘show emotion,’ and the ability to identify objects defines this doll equipped with the latest technology-based bells and whistles.

The doll, Amazing Amanda promises to be hot this Christmas season, but it leaves me feeling a bit cold.

I have a daughter that’s amazingly creative — and her imagination is a 24/7 production machine. Probably even more noticeable to me, as a parent that works in a home office, is the fact that her vocal chords match her thoughts — they are constantly in motion. Go figure.

This child even talks in her sleep! There is no escape. It’s one of the things that amazed Wayne most about her when we started dating seriously enough for him to be around during naptime. “She even talks in her SLEEP!” he announced one day. (As if I didn’t already know).

When bereft of all toys, the child has been known to make her fingers talk to one another and to fashion “horses” out of her hands and have them gallop along any available surface — complete with sound effects.

So, why should I buy this creepy little doll, with it’s creepy little changing facial features, and add not only another power-toy to the family collection , but also one that will increase the current din and clamor of my daily existence? I don’t think I will. It would have to come with headphones, and I doubt it will.

I’ve not seen it in person yet, but the Times article showed dismembered moving heads that gave me the willies, so I’m not sure seeing it in person will help to alleviate those.

Am I the only one that has an issue with this? I was reading just the other day that pet adoption has suffered from the digital revolution and that fewer pets are finding homes because kids are now spending more time with their digital companions than they do with flesh and blood ones.

And, I see the attraction in my own daughter when she asks me a dozen times a day if I’ve checked on PalmPet lately.

Hmmmm…. it’s almost enough to make me rethink buying Alexzandria that new GameBoy DS with NintenDogs for Christmas. Almost.

But then, the digital dogs won’t pee on my carpet, chew up my shoes, cause me to get out in the wee hours in (always) horrid weather to form a search party because they can’t be found this second, or cause a family trauma by finding some untimely end.

I love dogs. I have one. Zoe. But do I want to help a 7-year old train one right now? Nay.

But, it’s a shame that the NintenDog site doesn’t do a feature on real flesh-and-blood adoption options in coordination with the Humane Society. That might help to blend the two. Who knows, maybe taking care of a digital pet would be the best possible training ground for preparing for care of a living, breathing one. Hmmm….