One of the current problems in the United States is the so-called “Knockout Game” where teenagers attempt to knock out an unsuspecting stranger with a single punch. While it has not been actually confirmed as a trend, as it just might be a sign of increased violence among young people, there are some fears now that Japanese youth might have brought the game to the streets of Japan, as a string of violent random assaults have baffled authorities.
Japanese netizens are hypothesizing that recent reports of attacks in Kobe and Osaka may be related to this so-called game. Even though Japan boasts one of the most high-tech societies and smartphones and gaming consoles are all the rage, apparently there may still some young people who are bored enough to try out their gaming moves in real life. On November 30, a 21-year-old woman in Osaka was struck in the back of her head by a man at around 1AM in a dark street. Fortunately, she was able to run from her attacker and was taken to a hospital where she received seven stitches. However they were not able to catch the man who hit her yet. Two days before, this time in Kobe, a similar attack also happened, where a woman in a street that was scarily dark was also hit from behind by an assailant.
Currently, there is no direct correlation between the two attacks, netizens are jumping to the conclusion that the “Knockout Game” has reached Japan. But there are several differences between the incidents in the U.S. and in Japan. For example, the attacks in America happened in the middle of the day and are usually caught by security cameras, while in Japan, it happened in darkened streets, according to Professor Tetsuya Fujimoto. But he also acknowledged that the American style of violence might become “en vogue” with Japanese teenagers. Some argue that video games play a role in the escalation of violence, while some say they are not imitating the games but what they see on the news. Most of those who voiced their opinions were also very critical about media’s handling of this angle, saying that including the word “game” to describe the assaults adds an element of challenge to the gullible teenagers who might seek to try out this new “trend.”
[ via Rocket News 24 ]