Now think to mmorpgs. And no, I don’t mean those unexpressive pets that just follow you doing nothing ar all. I mean more complex, interactive virtual pet simulation that may even be functional to some parts of the game. With added discoveries to make by letting meet your personal puppy with the puppies of other players and have them interact together.
As Alice often says: I want.
One game already did a step (the NPC henchmen). Let’s see how long before someone else guesses the huge potential of something like this.
It would also be interesting to have a layered Virtual World, where the “parents” go to raid while the younger players can fiddle with more accessible toys developed specifically for that target. And maybe, then, even integrate these parts and let them interact on multiple levels.
Pokemon Online? Don’t tell it too loud or it could happen. Fear the mass market.