Early Friday morning EST, Konami, the Japanese entertainment company known for producing video game franchises such as Castlevania and Metal Gear, announced their decision to relocate the finals of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2017 Finals, with the following message posted on their website:
In order to ensure the safety of all who are involved, we have decided to change the location of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2017 Finals, which were originally scheduled to be held in London.
We are currently planning on holding them in Japan.
We encourage players to take the change of location into account when participating in the Final Qualifiers.
Further details on the new location will be posted soon.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
A screenshot taken from the notification section of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links mobile game was shortly thereafter posted to the r/yugioh community on reddit, to report and discuss the change of location from London to Japan. Around noon, a moderator stickied a comment explaining the removal of inappropriate responses to the thread, and warning community members that jokes about terrorism, as well as derogatory discussion of Islam, would result in negative consequences. Other community members expressed varying degrees of understanding and agreement with Konami’s decision. Redditors expressing disapproval of the decision were predominately downvoted.
Around 6pm EST, the same screenshot featured on reddit was posted to v/whatever community on Voat.co, a website that has marketed itself as a free-speech alternative to reddit in the aftermath of Ellen Pao’s tenure as reddit CEO, and, the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Commenters on Voat expressed unanimous approval of Konami’s decision, with some suggesting that a trend of declining tourism in European cities may have a positive impact: user Knights_of_the_14 suggests this trend may “pull a few people out of delusion,” presumably referring to the concept of a peaceful multicultural society as unattainable.
The timing of this discussion coincides with the unexpected results of the 2017 UK general election, in which the Conservative Party failed to defend its majority. Some had theorized that acts of terror could sway opinion toward the tough-on-terror, anti-extremist Conservatives. The results indicate instead that more nuanced message, rethinking the approach to the war on terror that addresses its systemic causes, may resonate more with the UK’s voters.
Despite these results, alt-right Internet users and self-styled free-speech enthusiasts feel reinforced that their fear of continued terror activity is shared by the company behind the trading card game steeped in Egyptian mythology.