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Meanwhile, in Japan, pet fish run up credit card bill on Nintendo Switch

Gaming critters wreak havoc after Pokémon attempt crashes

A monkey sitting at a typewriter for infinity will almost surely rattle off the complete works of Shakespeare, but can fish complete Pokémon video games on a much shorter timescale?

That is a question that the Japanese YouTuber Mutekimaru has answered more than once (six titles beaten in 20,000 hours) by dividing his tank into sections programmed to hit corresponding buttons on a Nintendo Switch console via motion tracking software as the fish swim round.

People actually tune in to Mutekimaru's livestreams to watch these attempts unfold in real time. However, leaving a system tied to one's credit card in the fins of pet fish turned out to be a poor choice after a series of freak events earlier this month.

Youtube Video

As detailed in Mutekimaru's video on the matter, the current run on the brand new Pokémon Violet entry went sideways when the game crashed, returning the fish to the Switch home screen where they were then free to wreak havoc outside the confines of the game.

Over the next seven hours, the fish changed the name of his Nintendo account, logged into the gaming giant's online store, agreed to terms and conditions, downloaded the Nintendo 64 app, set up a PayPal account, and even added ¥500 ($3.84) to his account, exposing his credit card details in the process, among plenty of other improbable actions.

All the while, thousands of viewers watched on in a mixture amusement and disbelief as the stream went viral, anthropomorphizing the fish for their unusual approach to light entertainment until they happened to shut the console down – seemingly done for the day.

According to Mutekimaru's video, he requested a refund for the money spent by his fish from Nintendo, which was accepted despite the bizarre circumstances. He did not comment on any repercussions from exposing his credit card details.

The channel was started in 2020 and envisioned as a "livestream that can be watched at any time" – that is to say, without active input from a human host. The fish are rotated in and out of the Switch tank for health purposes. Mutekimaru previously said the Pokémon series will be retired after the Violet run is done, and not a moment too soon from the look of things.

For those without small children at home, Pokémon is one of the best selling media franchises of all time encompassing video games, trading cards, TV shows, films and toys. It is set in a world where Pokémon – "pocket monsters" – are caught in the wild and trained for battle against other Pokémon, which is a bit savage if you think too hard about it. ®

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