Popularity of frog game shows desire for companionship: psychologists

Taipei, The popularity in Taiwan of a mobile game about a traveling pet frog highlights people's desire for companionship and a simple life, according to local psychologists.

The Japan-made mobile game "Tabikaeru," or Travel Frog, allows players to care for a pet frog as it spends its days traveling, reading and eating.

It has recently become very popular in Taiwan, with many gamers posting snapshots of their frogs on social media sites.

Players collect clovers grown in the frog's garden in order to buy supplies for the pet when it travels where and when it chooses, and they receive occasional post cards during its trips.

According to counseling psychologist Lo Hui Chun (???) at Mackay Memorial Hospital, the game is exactly the opposite of others currently on the market because the player is not the main character nor does he or she have control over the avatar.

What players look for in the game, therefore, is a relationship with the frog, a connection based on altruistic acts of providing for the frog, which gives them joy, Lo said.

The appeal of the simplicity of the game, with no challenges to overcome or levels to complete, is indicative of people's longing for a simple life, said Lin Yu-hsuan (???), a psychiatrist at National Taiwan University Hospital, agreeing with Lo's views on the issue.

In an age of so much information, the simplicity of the game allows users to relax, Lin said.

Although the game is currently available only in Japanese, this has not slowed its popularity in Taiwan.

Since its release last November, online searches in Taiwan for frogs, clovers and other items that may be related to aspects of the game have become 70 times more frequent, according to the online shopping platform friDay.

Sales of frog-shaped toys and other items have also increased 60 percent in Taiwan, the platform said.

Source: Fucus Taiwan