Children’s charity Barnardo’s has launched a
virtual friend that squawks, vomits and crawls – and is to be used
to make money for the organisation.
The charity’s first foray into “virtual
advertising” takes the form of “e-baby”, a small, nappy-wearing,
interactive computer icon. Once downloaded, e-baby crawls around
the computer screen, cries, vomits, chuckles when tickled, and
encounters various hazards such as hot irons.
By right-clicking on the mouse, the computer
user can tend to the needs of e-baby. E-baby lasts for three hours,
after which Barnardo’s gives the user feedback on their parenting
skills and invites the player to e-mail e-baby to their friends or
The game is being distributed by AOL and
Netscape, and can also be downloaded from Barnardo’s website: www.barnardos.org.uk/e-baby/howto.html