We’re in the middle of the Age of Information, a time when digital data reigns supreme. While computerized fish do an awful job of replacing the real thing, it might be nice to have the option to watch pixelated fish swim around your computer screen when you can’t get access to a real thing. After all, double-clicking a fish program requires a lot less effort than keeping an aquarium clean and beautiful — and it’s probably a lot less expensive, too.

I thought it’d be nice to share with you some digital alternatives for the truly fanatical fish lover.

Aquarium Screensavers

There have been screensavers of fish swimming across the computer screen for as long as I can remember. The ones from a few decades age were grainy and fairly bare-bones, but the screensavers of today are almost like works of art. Some premium screensavers, such as Sim Aquarium 3D, give you a front row seat into the subterranean world. You’ll probably want to resist the temptation of installing this on your work computer, though. Most aquarists would be more tempted to stare at their screensaver all day then actually get some work done.

Digital Fish Tank

Digital fish tanks are pretty simple. You take a digital device, play looping footage of fish, and frame it so that it looks nice. The advantage is that you can stick it just about anywhere, but it’s a bit kitschy. If somebody comes over to your place and they see one of these things, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re going to be getting “Why don’t you just get a real fish tank?” thrown at you.

Fish Video Games

They’ve got video games for just about everything, don’t they? This game, Fish Tycoon, turns you into a fish matchmaker. The objective is raise and breed fish to uncover magical breeds. It’s definitely not the prettiest game out there, but it might just appeal to a few oddballs out there who get an unnatural joy out of raising fish.

Fish Tycoon 2

Image: macgamestore.com

Virtual Koi Pond

Of all the virtual tanks I’ve seen, this one is definitely my favorite. It’s so simple and elegant that it actually does a decent job of replicating what it’s like to throw food pellets into a pond, but without all the crazy feeding frenzies. Yeah, I know that that’s half the fun, but this pseudo-game is more about relaxing than getting an exciting show.

I’d love it if I could use this as the background for my iPad, and I dropped food pellets whenever I clicked on the screen. Wouldn’t it be neat to see the koi swim beneath all of the apps and gobble up the food pellets?

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