Should we call this a “fishing” scam?”
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are the newest paired games in the Pokémon franchise, and so there are a lot of YouTubers streaming gameplay of them these days. What sets Mutekimaru Channel’s Pokémon Violet stream apart, though, is that it’s played by fish.
Yes, it’s a different team of fish than the ones who beat Pokémon Saphire two years ago (that team is retired now), but still, Mutekimaru Channel is all about streaming fish gameplay. “How can fish play games?” you might be asking, and the answer is that their owner, who runs Mutekimaru Channel, sets up a camera that visually divides the fish’s aquarium into sections, with each one corresponding to a different button on the game system’s controller. As the fish swim through the tank, the camera sees where they stop, then translates the corresponding designated button press into an input for the game.
In short, the system allows the fish to use the system’s controller, even without directly touching it. However, the unexpected side effect of that is that this allows the fish to use the controller for non-gameplay functions too, which led to an absolutely crazy chain of events, as shown in the video below.
Everything starts off normally enough. The fish are swimming about, making their in-game avatar run around the Asado Desert. But all of a sudden, a problem occurs.
As many gamers have already discovered, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet don’t exactly have the most stable performance, and the fish’s game crashes. As they continue to swim, the error message in confirmed, and the Switch jumps back to the home screen.
So the game is no longer running, but the fish are still sending inputs to the controller. Unfortunately, their owner isn’t present to watch this all unfold live, as he’s left the fish to do the stream on their own while he’s elsewhere. Now, instead of their inputs moving their avatar randomly around the map, they’re randomly moving the cursor around the home screen and settings menus, and chaos ensues.
One of the first acts of unintentional ￥mischief they get up to is changing the nickname registered to the system from “Mutekimaru” to “Rowawawa￥.”
▼ ろわわわ￥ = Rowawawa￥. Remember that yen sign.
But the bigger shock is when the fish’s swim-puts gain them access to the Nintendo eShop!
Since Mutekimaru has his password saved, all it takes is a single button press with the cursor in the right spot for the fish to log in, and his password isn’t the only thing Mutekimaru has saved, either.
Yep, he’s got his credit card information saved too.
Though their random inputs result in them logging out of the store at least once, eventually the fish log back in and select the option to add money to Mutekimaru’s account balance, charging 500 yen (US$3.90) to his credit card.
▼ “500 yen has been added to your balance.”
Next, the fish log in to Mutekimaru’s Switch Online account.
This actually turns out to be beneficial, since it earns Mutekimaru a handful of log-in bonuses!
▼ ログインボーナス = Log-in bonus
However, it appears the fish are of the mindset that since they’re the ones who logged in, the log-in bonus belongs to them, and is theirs to do what they like with. So after scrolling through some options, they decide to spend some of their points to buy a cosmetic upgrade for use with Nintendo Switch Sports.
▼ In Japanese, the light-blue color seen in this hairstyle is called mizuiro, literally “water color,” so it makes sense that the fish would pick it.
After that, the fish decide to, and successfully, download the Nintendo 64 driver for Nintendo Switch Online.
Only then, apparently deciding they’ve had enough fun, do the fish navigate back to the home screen…
…and put the Switch into sleep mode.
Between putting a yen sign in the system’s new nickname and shutting it down after finishing their purchases and downloads, it almost feels like the fish were doing this all on purpose. Mutekimaru has sent a refund request to Nintendo, and it’s a good thing he’s got the whole thing recorded on video, because without visual evidence “It wasn’t me, it was my fish!” probably isn’t something most customer service reps are going to believe,
▼ Mutekimaru recapping the events in abridged form through his Twitter account
In the meantime, though, the whole incident is a good reminder that just like you shouldn’t keep your passwords and credit card info saved if little kids have access to our device, you shouldn’t keep them saved if little fish have access to it either.