- You are presumably thinking that the above headline makes absolutely no sense, yes? Well, it's referencing Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi's GDC Europe 2005 Game Design Challenge entry, which is a robot cat for grandmothers: "Embedded in the cat is the capability for it to communicate wirelessly with other cat controllers (on other Grannies' knees) in the neighborhood."

Of course, the genius element in Takahashi's design is that the other members of the family are told to pretend that the cyborg cat is normal, and that only Granny can talk to it. Not so with Webkinz, the cyber-cat (and other Beanie Baby-style plushes) for kids which is the subject of a new CNET News article called 'I fell in love with a cyber alley cat'.

It's explained: "The phenomenon has been a huge hit; Ganz claims that more than 2 million units have been sold to retailers and 1 million users have registered on the Webkinz site, where kids can create lively domiciles for the virtual versions of their animal, shop for pet paraphernalia, and chat with fellow Webkinz owners."

Michael Zenke has actually previously covered Webkinz for us as part of a wider article on kids' virtual worlds - it's a plush toy, with game/virtual world elements after you register said toy - and though it doesn't have any wireless or directly code-based elements to it, unlike the virtual Barbie Girls MP3 players, it's another example of games, virtual worlds, and toys getting hopelessly intermeshed in the name of addictiveness and repeat business. Neopets was just the beginning, folks - and this is far more sinister than just perplexing Granny.