Twitch is trying not to kill a Tamagotchi

And you thought the Dark Souls version was wrought with peril

Not satisfied with beating Dark Souls or catching all original 151 Pokémon, the Twitch community has moved on to the next great challenge: taking care of a virtual pet.

Beginning today, Twitch Plays Tamagotchi is the streaming site's latest venture combining games with audience input. The crowd is tasked with voting on which of the three buttons to push, in 5-second intervals, in a combined effort to keep the digital animal from the 90s' toy craze alive.

While streaming a Tamagotchi isn't terribly riveting on paper, what sets this social experiment apart from its peers is the setup. The stream doesn't run an emulated version of the Tamagotchi software, as was the case with Pokémon Red for Twitch Plays Pokémon.

Instead, the team behind broadcast is using an authentic Tamagotchi operated by a mechanical finger carrying out the will of the commenters. Using the real McCoy is as impressive as it is overwrought, adding to the overall nostalgic factor.

There's no telling how long the plastic egg will last under the care of internet randos, but given the patience and teamwork shown with past "Twitch Plays..." projects, the Tamagotchi might just outlast any virtual pet we ever had in our youth.

In the meantime, let's just hope that digging up 90s' toy relics stop before we see Twitch Plays Furby. *shudder*