If you’ve ever played games like World of Warcraft or even the more colorful, less kill-y types of social games like Candy Crush and FarmVille you know probably notice at they all share this similarity. Once you get into them, they’re hard to get out of your system. They’re hard to stop playing, even for a little while and they’re even harder to quit.
Take it from me. I played World of Warcraft for a long time and even though I stopped playing a while ago, I have to admit, I’d still be playing if I had the time and money for the monthly subscription and to purchase new expansions.
The ‘social’ in these social games means you don’t play them completely by yourself. There’s some level of interaction with other players that can help you along the way, either by sending you more lives or by joining your raiding party. Makes the whole experience more fun, or so they say.
Another guy who knows how addictive these games can be is 44-year-old Japanese police Sergeant, Takahiro Ueyama. He started playing a mobile social game and became severely addicted to it. He even went so far as to describe the game as his only joy in life. Some of the less outwardly social of us may feel that way, I guess, but if you think that’s bad, this is also the excuse he uses for amassing more than ¥500,000 (About US$5,200) in debts from purchasing items in the game (¥200,000 in June alone).
What the hell was this guy playing!?!
But wait! It gets worse. Sergeant Ueyama, a cop of 24 years with a clean record… who was promoted only this year, no less… then tried to extort money from a member of the public to pay it back…
Methinks he may have crossed the line at some point. Around where he racked up over $5,000 in debt, perhaps?
As the story goes, Ueyama, of the Hyogo Prefecture, in an obvious act of desperation, used the information he got from a woman he pulled over during a traffic stop in early June to find the her address. Less than a month later he visited that woman’s home and left a note on her car’s windshield saying he’d exchange his video recording of her traffic stop interview for a sum of cash.
Apparently, Ueyama believed (Or at least wanted to believe) that she would willingly pay to have any evidence of her run-in with the law disappear. She, however, didn’t feel the same. Instead, she took the note to the police station the very next day.
Of course, Ueyama was arrested and extortion charges laid. Though he had partially denied the charge, saying he wasn’t really going to take the money (Uh-huh…), he has apologized to the woman for his actions.
Let’s hope he learned his lesson. Let’s also hope he gets the help he so obviously needs. As for me, I think I’ll just wait the thirty minutes it takes to get more lives.
I can take it!