As beloved a pastime as they’ve become around the world, there’s still much debate about how video games affect young minds. Now a teen in Tokyo is making headlines for having an especially negative reaction to a game that didn’t go his way. The 16-year-old is being accused of making a bomb threat against the video game company Konami. The reason? He said a bug in one of their games made him lose.
Kotaku reports that the game in question was mobile soccer game PES, short for Pro Evolution Soccer. The boy reportedly made threats in the comments section of an unidentified app store between June 16 and 18.
“I’m going to blow up Konami’s headquarters,” the boy allegedly wrote in a comment. Another post reportedly read, “I’m going to kill the people who work at Konami,” before adding that, even in Japan, terrorism is possible.
The violent threats drew the attention of Tokyo police, and the suspect has since been arrested. The boy has admitted to making the threatening remarks, saying he was “pissed” about a connection issue in the game that had repeatedly caused him to lose.
More Than an Idle Threat?
As Eurogamer points out, Japanese authorities have good reason to take such threats seriously.
In 2019, an arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studios resulted in 36 deaths and 33 injuries. The suspect in the attack was arrested and charged in May, after spending months recovering from burns. After the attack, Japanese Prime Minister described the incident as “too appalling for words,” reports BBC.
The boy’s threats also recall an incident from last August involving the video game developer Square Enix. GameRant reported on a man who threatened to burn down the company’s headquarters after losing on a mobile game, specifically referencing the Kyoto Animation arson. Police arrested the suspect before he could make good on his threat.
In the wake of the latest threats of terrorist violence against it, Konami has increased security around its headquarters.