2022 began with a rather rough start for us at Drillimation. Emiko Hosokawa (who goes by her online handler CaraPrincess), then known as Akira Akagi, was developing a game titled Touhou Tenkijou. The Prophet Driller composed several songs for that game before it was ultimately canceled, with many of those songs being used in Chuhou Joutai 3: Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess and the in-development game Touhou Kourinden ~ Mythos of Phantasmagoria.
The then-14-year-old was already legally old enough to be using Discord under the regulations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. Discord was used for all main communications for discussing ideas for themes. But then at the end of December 2021, while the Prophet was on a business trip in Florida, something unremarkable happened.
The Dreaded Fegelbutt Strikes
In early December 2021, the Fegelbutt and his accomplice Himmler were preparing to commit his next big antic. A mercenary of his, working for Discord, received a report from a user stating that Emiko was not old enough in her jurisdiction to be using Discord. At the end of that month, Fegelbutt’s antic was a success. Emiko got hit with an underage ban, being told she would have to verify her identity or face account deletion. The latter ended up happening.
How This Happened
Emiko Hosokawa is based out of Vietnam. Unlike most jurisdictions, where the age requirement is 13 under COPPA, some jurisdictions raise the requirement to 14 or higher. In Emiko’s jurisdiction, it is 15. The reason for this can be due to child privacy or safety concerns, or usually because of censorship laws. A lot of countries in Europe have higher age requirements because of an EU law (specifically the Audiovisual and Media Services Directive) designed to prevent minors from being exposed to inappropriate content.
Resolving an Underage Ban on Discord
If the user feels they were banned in error, they will usually be required to verify their identity to confirm they are over the minimum age requirement. They will be required to take a selfie that consists of a photo ID alongside their date of birth, and their full Discord tag on a slip of paper.
Because COPPA and similar laws are controversial, this has presented many opportunities for identity fraud. Age fraud like this is unlawful under Section 1028 of the U.S. Criminal Code and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000. Because of this, some websites have decided to contract third-party services such as ID.me (in the U.S.) and Yoti (in the U.K. and elsewhere) to verify the ages of users.
ID.me requires users to snap an image of their passport and they must also take a selfie. If it fails to verify through this information, then users will be redirected to a video call with a trusted referee. Wait times can be extremely long because when ID.me was contracted by several state unemployment services, ID.me experienced a huge server load, leading to U.S. Congress opening an investigation into ID.me.
What Happened Next
Drillimation broke the news of Emiko’s underage ban exactly one year this article was posted. You can view it here. At the time, the Touhou 4: Lotus Land Story NES Demake was in its late stages of development. The Prophet heard of this in a Reddit reply to a thread on their then-newest PC-98 Remix on the staff roll theme from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga which was also Drillimation’s last video in 2021.
Reddit had a chat function, where the Prophet learned about what had happened when he was trying to figure out why Emiko suddenly disappeared from Discord. In order to communicate with her, Reddit’s chat function was used extensively.
Emiko Has a Quinceanera
On May 26, 2022, a miracle happened. Emiko had celebrated her 15th birthday, which would count as a quinceanera in the Hispanosphere, even though Vietnam isn’t a Spanish-speaking country. At that time, Chuhou Joutai 3: Three Nights of Scarlet Abscess was in its late stages of development, and the Touhou 5: Mystic Square NES Demake was in its post-production phase.
However, she would not return until the release of the Mystic Square demake. She had undergone a transformation: the Akira name was no more and she adopted her current screen name. She is now back on Discord and now operates her own server.
Blame Fegelein on This.
When terrible things happen, you’ll have to blame the master of antics. We are hoping we can turn our luck into super luck when Friday the 13th comes in nearly two weeks.
Go and bring me Fegelein. FEGELEIN! FEGELEIN!! FEGELEIN!!!