Pet fish in Japan racks up credit card bill on Nintendo Switch

The fishy incident took place earlier this month where Mutekimaru was live-streaming a game of Pokemon. -SCREENGRAB FROM MUTEKIMARU CHANNEL/YOUTUBE

TOKYO (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): A fish playing a video game in Japan took control of its owner’s Nintendo Switch account, changed the username, set up a PayPal account and then racked up a credit card bill.

This may sound fishy, but it actually happened during a live-stream event on the YouTube page of a YouTuber known as Mutekimaru.

Mutekimaru’s channel is popular with gaming enthusiasts for its videos featuring tetra fishes that “play” video games.

“This is the world’s first shocking video of a pet fish making a purchase with its owner’s credit card,” a caption on the video said.

According to CNN, Mutekimaru had previously installed advanced motion detection tracking software in fish tanks to enable his fish to “remotely control” his Nintendo Switch system.

American online media company Insider reported that the fish regularly featured in the channel are named Maurice, Moo and Ponyo. A fourth fish, Lala, died in September.

In this instance, the fishy incident took place earlier in January, when Mutekimaru was live-streaming a game of Pokemon.

The YouTuber stepped away for a break after the game crashed due to a system error and the console returned to the home screen.

The fish, however, carried on swimming – as fish do – and seemingly continued to control the console remotely from its tank.

During the next seven hours, CNN reported that the fish managed to change the name of its owner’s Switch account, downloaded a new avatar, set up a PayPal account and sent an e-mail about the process as well as read a set of terms and conditions on the Nintendo eShop.

“Fish eagerly read the terms and conditions. Many of us humans don’t read the terms of service, but fish are smarter than we are,” a caption in the recap video of the incident said.

In a budding shopping spree that would make any shopaholic proud, the fish also added 500 yen (S$5) to Mutekimaru’s Switch account, and in the process exposed the owner’s credit card details.

By then, the live-stream had attracted thousands of comments from amused followers. The incident went viral on Twitter as well.

“I can only imagine having to explain to customer service that your pet fish made purchases on your account,” wrote a commentator, while another said: “Never leave your pet fish unattended.”

CNN reported Mutekimaru as saying later that he had contacted Nintendo to explain what happened and asked for a refund of his 500 yen.

Nintendo declined to comment to CNN, citing customer confidentiality.

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Japan , Nintendo , fish , credit , card , YouTuber


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