A couple days ago I reported about the Japanese Minister of Science and Technology Ichita Yamamoto paying an official institutional visit to the Japanese servers of Dragon Quest X, and chalked it as something definitely cool, but apparently many Japanese players don’t agree with me, and are protesting on the net because the visit might have violated the game’s own terms of service, articles 10 and 12 of which explicitly prohibit any political activity or any form or electoral campaign within the game.
Yamamoto-san is running in the upcoming election for the House of Concillors, and apparently he encouraged the players he met to go cast their vote. Many didn’t interpret it as a simple reminder of their civic duty, feeling like they were actually target of full fledged political activity (and they may arguably be right on that). As a result reports are flooding Square Enix’s local customer support while the usual den of scum and villainy 2chan is ablaze with anger.
Personally, I find it quite positive to see a minister of a country showing interest in an online games and their communities. I actually think that if more politicians worldwide did the same, the relationship between politics and gaming might become more relaxed. That said, there will always be someone looking for the negative angle of every story, and that seems to be particularly true whenever Square Enix is involved.