Monday, September 21, 2020

Man Threatens to Kill Square Enix Staff

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Jessica Lamb
Jessica Lamb was born and raised in Fennville, Michigan. She attended Aquinas College where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Since then, she has dedicated herself to spreading the word about all things nerd culture.

Whether it’s swearing, throwing things, or setting the controller down with an angry sigh- every gamer has had those rage-inducing moments of play at least once. It’s perfectly normal to occasionally get frustrated with a difficult puzzle or elusive drop item. Recently, one 25-year-old nursing care worker took those feelings too far though. He was arrested for threatening to kill Square Enix staff via e-mail.

Square Enix is dealing with quite a unique threat

On February 5th, the unidentified man sent an e-mail to Square Enix Tokyo’s office. The e-mail read “hey staff tomorrow I’m going to kill you get ready [for your punishment].” In Japanese, the last section of the threat is “kubi arattokeyo” (首洗っとけよ). This translates to “go wash your neck,” an expression rooted in Japanese ritualistic samurai suicide. The phrase represents the decapitation of the samurai that would occur after they disemboweled themselves. This was done to ensure they were truly dead.

The man was arrested on March 29th in Yoshinogawa. He confessed that “I spent over 200,000 yen ($1,794) on the game and I didn’t get the [in-game] item I wanted so I sent the email out of revenge.” While the specific game was not identified, it seems that the money was spent on a virtual gacha. Gacha are similar to loot boxes, as they are prizes won at random.

Loot boxes are an inescapable reality in the gaming world

Since last September, Square Enix has received over thirty e-mails threatening staff with the word kill in Japanese. As a result, the office has increased security to ensure staff safety. The company assures consumers that these threats are not interfering with their game development. Authorities are now investigating whether these previous e-mails are connected to the man in custody. One thing is for sure, this guy won’t be gambling his money on in-game loot anytime soon.

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