A girl who took a knife to her school’s breakfast club may have been roleplaying as a murderous cartoon character from a popular online game.
Teachers confiscated the weapon from the girl, 10, who they believe was ‘naively’ re-enacting the Yandere Simulator video game in which a female character stalks a boy and secretly kills other girls who have a crush on him.
The girl, who cannot be named, was excluded from Newlands Primary School in Southampton, Hampshire, immediately after the incident with the school’s headteacher writing to concerned parents.
The Yandere Simulator game follows the character of Ayano Aishi, who kills love rivals (Picture: Yandere Simulator)
A mother whose child is in the same year group as the girl said her daughter is being kept at home until she is reassured the school is safe.
She said: ‘Surely a knife of any sort is a dangerous weapon and more action should be taken. I have to consider my children who attend the school but are off until I’m assured they are safe.
‘There are also children in breakfast club at 8am so this child would have been near other children with the knife in a bag before school were made aware.’
Head Karen Mellor told parents in a letter: ‘We take these matters very seriously and have followed all the correct protocols and have taken proportionate sanctions against the pupil.
‘The police investigation has led us to believe that the child naively brought the knife to school in a misguided attempt to roleplay an online game.’
She added that police will be going into the school to talk to children about online safety.
Yandere Simulator was created by a Californian-based video games developer known as YandereDev five years ago.
Players control the character Ayano Aishi described as an ‘obsessively lovesick schoolgirl who fancies her classmate’.
Over the course of ten in-game weeks, you have to take out love-rivals in a variety of methods, including kidnapping, electrocution, murder, or simply by befriending them and convincing them to leave Yamada alone.
Among the various weapons, players can choose from a circular saw, baseball bat, samurai sword and kitchen knife.
Game developer YandereDev said it was ‘alarming’ to hear about the incident in Southampton and added that there is a warning message in the game asking people not to copy it.
He called on parents to be more aware of what their children are doing online.
‘I would never want anyone to re-enact situations from my game in real life,’ YandereDev said.
‘The first thing that appears in my game is a warning message which states that I don’t endorse violence in schools and that my game is not appropriate for children.
‘I think it’s important for parents to monitor what type of entertainment their children are consuming, and make sure that their children are not being influenced by material that is meant for mature audiences.
‘I hope that this type of situation never happens again.’
Hampshire police confirmed they were advised by school that a 10-year-old girl had brought a knife into the school on Tuesday.
A force spokesperson said: ‘We have fully supported the school in the actions they have taken since, and through our partners, continue to promote the importance in educating children on the dangers of knives and knife crime.’