There are always stories of children charging their parents’ credit cards. Video games often play a role in this. In Japan, too, a card was unexpectedly charged. From a pet though.

It’s a story that couldn’t sound crazier – and yet it took place in front of an audience. When Youtuber Mutekimaru Channel wasn’t paying attention, his fish used his credit card to spend money. And bought digital credit from the game manufacturer Nintendo.

Strictly speaking, the highly bizarre process is an experiment gone wrong. The Youtuber actually wanted his fish to do something completely different: He should play through the Pokémon games “Scarlet” and “Violet” for the Nintendo Switch. What initially sounds like a joke, the little pet had already done once: in 2020 he had successfully completed the predecessor “Pokémon Sapphire” on the channel.

Fish seeks monsters

The Youtuber had come up with a clever method for this. Because the fish can’t press any buttons, of course, it let it control the game via the webcam. He laid a grid over the image, each cell of which was assigned a different keystroke. If the fish swam onto the respective spot in its aquarium, the corresponding command was triggered. With success: the fish had successfully completed the first part. However, the control method, which was left to chance, took a little longer than a human player. The fish needed almost 3200 hours for the otherwise 30-hour game.

However, the successor made a surprising error. After almost 1150 hours the game crashed unexpectedly. Without the fish owner noticing. Of course, the fish just kept swimming through the aquarium. And at some point, through his keystrokes, he opened the online shop installed on the switch.

By sheer coincidence, a momentous series of submissions then came about. The fish opened the add credit menu. And bought digital credit at the expense of the credit card stored there. After that, he then changed the username of the owner. “Mutekimaru” became “ROWAWAWAWA¥”.

No big damage

But while the viewers were happy in the chat, the owner didn’t notice the unexpected transaction at first. He didn’t notice the failure until seven hours later, after restarting the switch, the fish was able to continue its game.

Luckily for the Youtuber, the damage was limited: the fish only charged the card 500 yen, which corresponds to 3.50 euros. But apparently he didn’t want to leave it at that: According to “Techspot”, he had the money refunded. By the way, the fish is still playing.

Sources: Youtube, Techspot