In Yokohama, a 25-year-old man was late on his rent to the tune of 160,000 yen ($1,490). The apartment’s management couldn’t get in touch with the resident and asked the police to check in on the man. When the police arrived, he told them a lie because he wasn’t making any money selling in-game items.
According to Livedoor and Open Yokohama, the man falsely told the police that he was self-quarantining because he worked in a hospital where he was running tests and where he caught the novel coronavirus.
As a preventive measure, the officer who responded to the call had to self-isolate. The police box where the officer worked (pictured above) had to be disinfected and required protective clothing to prevent infection. The man was charged with interfering with police business.
The man’s source of income had been selling things he acquired during gaming, such as leveled-up characters or in-game items. But when more people started staying home, everyone had more time to play games and no longer wanted to buy his goods. The man said, “With people staying home, the number of them playing games increased and from around March, I started to see a decline in work.” Previously, he was reportedly making 100,000 yen ($931) to 150,000 yen ($1,397) a month selling his in-game items.
“I didn’t have money, and I couldn’t pay my rent,” he is quoted as saying. “Because the world was in an uproar about coronavirus, I use that.”