YouTuber's pet fish commit credit card fraud on stream

Three Magikarp Pokémon
(Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Watch your aquariums: the fish know how to make digital purchases now.

YouTuber Mutekimaru runs a 24/7 livestream of their pet fish playing Pokémon games. Think Twitch Plays Pokémon, except the fish are playing Pokémon via a camera and motion tracking software. They swim over a grid of Nintendo Switch inputs which are then sent to the console. In 2020, the fish managed to finish Pokémon Sapphire in about 3,195 hours. Unimpressive, frankly: I could do it in 30.

Last month, about five hours into the stream, Pokémon Violet crashed while Mutekimaru was away and the fish were left sitting on the Switch's main menu. With a whole world of possibilities in front of them, the fish navigated their way to the Nintendo eShop and used the saved credit card info to add 500 yen (around $4 USD) to Mutekimaru's account, exposing their info to everyone watching in the process.

A list of fish crimes follows 

  • Before doing anything, the fish reviewed the eShop's terms and conditions (Nobody with good intentions does this) 
  • The fish attempted to set up a PayPal account, which sent an email to Mutekimaru (Worth a shot) 
  • The slippery thieves changed the account name from Mutekimaru to "ROWAWAWAWA¥" (Clear misdirection) 
  • The fish opened Nintendo Switch Online and downloaded the Nintendo 64 emulator (Presumably to play Pokémon Snap) 
  • When the N64 emulator download finished, they turned the Switch off and acted like nothing happened (Pretense to blaming everything on a software glitch) 

Mutekimaru eventually caught them and had to explain the situation to Nintendo customer support. "I am very sorry, but is it possible to get a refund for items purchased in error by my pet fish?" they typed into the form with a link to the video evidence. It worked and Nintendo refunded their 500 yen, but unfortunately not the reward points.

Instead of being bothered by having their account information broadcast on Twitch, Mutekimaru seems rather impressed. In the video recapping the fish fraud, they jokingly ask if the fish were professionals and thank everyone for sharing their tweet about the situation.

"I hope [the fish] got [a] good talking to about responsibility and money spending," one YouTube commenter wrote. Another YouTube commenter gave a word of advice that almost sounds like a threat from a fellow fish: "Never leave your pet fish unattended."

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.