Japanese police are pressing charges against a trio of teenagers for the odious crime of cheating in an online game, the nation’s first ever for this outrageous offence, after MapleStory publisher Nexon fingered them as thieving hackers.
Three youths aged 17-18 – a university student living in Fukushima, a highschooler from Nara and a technical college student from Tokushima prefecture – allegedly used cheating tools to power up their weapons and obtain fee-based items for free in an online game.
The company managing the games they cheated at – Nexon, best known for MapleStory and Mabinogi – took a dim view of this and had police charge them with a slew of hacking charges.
Police say this is the first time they have prosecuted anyone for cheating at a game, and Nexon has vowed eternal war on cheaters, saying “We dealt with this strictly before, and we’ll grapple with illicit activity as aggressively as possible from now on as well.”
Police also accuse the schoolboy and university student of coding the tools themselves and then selling them online, saying they netted 8 million yen in sales from the caper.
The trio admit the various charges (or else have been forced to confess as seems to the police’s primary method of securing convictions in technically sophisticated crimes), and for good measure the youth not involved in creating them also confesses “I just used the tools to run rampant and because I wanted to be famous!”
Concern amongst Japanese gamers who might in some way be modifying their gaming experience that they may get arrested is now high – along with the usual questions about just where the priorities of police lie:
“Serves them right!”
“Which game was it anyway?”
“Arrested for cheating. How their parents will weep.”
“Unbelievable they would arrest them on trumped up hacking charges for cheating in some game. A warning and ban would suffice. It’s just a game and they must have been smart to pull this off – not like they hurt anyone.”
“The game is nothing special but there are cash prizes for topping the rankings so Nexon are pretty desperate to keep the only appeal it has intact.”
“As far as they are concerned it is like shoplifting. Trying to send a message I suppose.”
“Pretty big news really. To think they’ll arrest people for cheating now.”
“If they can arrest schoolboys for cheating you’d think they might actually arrest the bullies there as well, it would be a better use of their time.”
“We’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel with our police these days.”
“Arrest the bot users next!”
“It’s really getting too much seeing the cops bust people for everything but gacha and pachinko!”
“Nexon officially endorses RMT so it is really a case of the pot calling the kettle black here.”
“What is the point of cheating in an online game like this?”
“It’s best to cheat, better than wasting all the time you need to level up on the game in any case!”
“I can’t see many parents letting their kids play online games if they can get themselves arrested in the process… bit of an own goal perhaps?”
“Isn’t it Nexon’s fault for running some garbage code which can be exploited like this in the first place?”
“You can’t really blame a shop for being shoplifted because their shelves did not prevent it!”
“Games filled with people begging police to arrest cheaters are sure to become boring…”
“Keep arresting those cheaters, they ruin it for everyone else!”