In early January, a Japanese news program did a piece on "netoge haijin" or "online game invalids". A follow-up to that report has appeared, and some believe the segment is fake.
The slang "netoge haijin" went mainstream in 2009 in part due to news reports like this. There was also a book by journalist Osamu Ashizaki cleverly called Netoge Haijin, published in May 2009. Hardly a Japan-only trend, the book explored the dangers of online gaming.
As previously posted, a morning show on Japanese television network TBS-MBS interviewed online gamers. The featured netoge haijin, 40 year-old Takeshi Andou, was a slob and his house was a complete mess.
Near his computer, there was a bottle he apparently used for a toilet when gaming. The gentleman pointed out that the mouth of a regular plastic bottle was "small", which is why he used this one. To stick his penis inside and urinate.
The original segment was believed to be "yarase", literally a phony situation. (You can read about yarase here.) Many on the Japanese internet believed this segment ha been faked.
Once again, netoge haijin Takeshi Andou has been interviewed by the Japanese network. According to the clip, Andou has been playing online for the past three and a half years. Though, as those on the Japanese internet have pointed out, Andou has also been working as a professional wrestler. Meaning? Apparently, the guy is in show business.
There is a follow-up to the original piece that aired in January. Andou is once again interviewed, and he says that his father passed away in January. The calendar in his room, however, shows December. The calendar is different from the calendar in the segment that aired in January. Once again, this is arising suspicion from those online.
Taken by themselves, Andou working as a pro wrestler or the calendar being wrong are meaningless, but with Japanese television's rumored propensity to fake segments, they have aroused suspicion.
Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka has tweeted about the segment. According to Tanaka, TBS contacted Square Enix about a possible interview for this report. "We'd like to introduce online gaming" is what the network apparently told the game company. Square Enix, however, declined as the interview request seemed somewhat shady. "And of course," Tanaka added, "the content of the segment was totally different from what they were saying before and completely negative."
If that netoge haijin thing doesn't work out for Andou, there's always professional wrestling.