If you were like most kids, at some point, you had a Giga pet. You fed it, you cared for it, and then you got totally bored and abandoned it. Why? Perhaps, because like most cutesy Japanese gaming devices, digital pets lack grit and street cred.
Until now. iHobo is a new app for the iPhone where instead of a pixelated kitten, a homeless young man in a hoodie lives inside your pocket. You get to feed him, help him make choices, and are woken up in the night by his shivering for three days. Basically, it’s like a Tamagachi that sometimes sells his sneakers for crack:
The app was created by Depaul UK, a British organization aimed at combating homelessness. Its intentions are noble – after carrying a iBum in your pocket for a few days, you’ll be more likely to help out real bums. Maybe. Or you’ll be inclined to think of them like pets.