Playing with virtual computer pets is a highly enjoyable and safe form of entertainment which can be enjoyed by people of all ages - especially children. Virtual pets are simply clever electronic simulations, but children can find it very satisfying and engrossing taking care of their virtual computer pets. Indeed, some of these pet simulations feature very high levels of sophistication to make caring for them very involved and rewarding.
The ultimate penalty for neglecting virtual computer pets is that, without enough care and attention, they will eventually die. This means you will need to devote quite some time to developing them, ensuring they're fed regularly, and continuing to entertain them, just to keep them alive and happy.
In order to play with virtual computer pets, the choice is huge, as there are many online virtual pet sites where you can choose from an extensive range of pets. But the great thing about playing with computer pets is that there's never any damage or mess to clear up. Of course, you'll also have hours of fun interacting with your pet.
As a parent, you'll have no concerns over vet bills or buying food for your pet - just press a button instead. It's a cost-effective way to teach your children to be responsible and put effort into caring for a pet before actually going out and buying a real one.
You're not just limited to virtual computer pets, of course. You can download virtual pet programs to your phone or play them on portable game consoles. For the ultimate in portability, there's always the standalone Tamogotchi.
However, if you're playing The Sims 2 - Pets on the PC, you can even indulge in a little cheating to make your life just that bit easier.
The cheat mode in The Sims is entered by pressing CTRL Shift C, all at the same time. A cheat window will appear at the top of the screen - and you can now type in one of the following cheat codes:
maxMotives - this will boost all your sim's needs into the green
Motherlode - your family will get $50,000.
To find a great selection of virtual computer pets to take care of, visit http://www.swopster.com/Virtual-Pets-and-Virtual-People-2008-08-15.aspx