"secret" war : what about all the smartphone videos ?

So I know that the Ascended "control the media" and all that jazz but seriously : any fight that breaks up in the middle of a public event with explosive cars and acrobatic attacks (I'm not even talking flashy powers) will generate at least 50 youtube videos from smartphones every time.

There's no way the Ascended can damage control every one of them. And if they did, people would realise "technical problems" always happen to the same kind of videos, and takedowns...

In the 90s with FS1, the few concerned people would have become conspiracy theorists on obscure BBS nobody would know or care about. But in the modern hyper connected world...? I'm really at loss to explain why my players chasing down gorillas in a high speed pursuit down a busy main street isn't all around the globe in hours. Yes the Ascended can prevent the news from reaching the big news channel. But hundreds of passerbys taking the videos on their phones ?

This is something that simply didn't exist in FS1, but for FS2 it's a real problem. I WANT to have they spread mayhem in front of people, it's FUN to have an audience, but if I'm condemning them to be branded terrorists as soon as they do...

One thing I've done in my game is that the heroes main contact in the Dragons, a guy called Couch Potato, is kind of a conspiracy nut. So he often shares those videos of "Alien reptoids EXPOSED" and stories about the Bush family and Queen Elizabeth being lizard aliens and eating babies and stuff. If you look on Youtube there's loads of those conspiracy videos.

That's the realm I figure most of these videos end up in. Some of them are true but a lot of them are not, so it's hard to sort them out if anyone was trying to figure out what's "really" going on.

Mostly though I just don't worry about it. In our game in the last six months in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Museum of Art has been almost destroyed, there have been multiple massive car chases through the city and across the bay, a community center has been utterly destroyed by gangsters, and a hospital administrator transformed into an actual Dragon during the Dragon Boat Festival... if this were real life it'd constantly be the top stories on the news and there'd be a sense of panic and crisis.

In our game it's not quite that bad--the news reports on it and the cops are doing their best, but it's just life as usual in Feng Shui.

Software! :smiley:

Perhaps the Ascended level of technology is waaaaay beyond that available or known to the general population. I remember reading in one of the first edition books about cancer free cigarettes and the 'real' internet. I don't think it would be too far a leap to assume that they have some technology capable of covering the global smart device population. Maybe even chi sensors build into newer phones that make any videos recorded/photo's of Secret War related events fail or turn out blurry (while at the same time alerting them to something untoward going on). :smiley:

They'd probably also have software that monitors the internet/TV for those events that do make it on. Blam - Instant zap of the pictures/video and addition of the taker onto a watch/action list for Ascended lackeys to deal with later if need be.

I'm thinking much like 'Shield' where they can monitor every single webcam, phone cam, IP cam and so on, in the world for specific faces. Maybe the Ascended can do that with more of a Secret War slant.

Of course, you could just say that chi-antics generally muck up any recording technology at the time (particularity any technology that would prove the existence of magic/time travel. Just another perk of having the vast majority of the Chi of the world working for your organization (if your organization is the Ascended, obviously).

This last one is what I'll go with it the players question it. actually, I probably wouldn't go near the subject, just that if they do try and take the secret war public - their attempt fails and probably p*ssed off some major Secret War organisation with tonnes of disposable mooks (which of course they would find out about when said mooks strike). :smiley:

The Ascended are all about conspiracy and behind the scenes control. Keeping footage about the secret chi war out of the public sphere is easy. They do control the juncture's major chi after all.

Likely they, through pledged agent dominated NSA and similar agencies, are able to quickly locate and removed offending video footage from social networking sites. They are also likely involved with all the major phone manufactures, so once a problem video is detected, it can not only be squashed on social networking, but also a backdoor in the phone can be used to kill the original file.

Keep in mind that most of our social media goes through only a handful of social networks and phone makers. Hell Google controls You Tube and makes one of the more common smart phone operating systems and there is plenty of evidence that the NSA has been manipulating phones for various spying purposes... and that's the real world.
( bbc.com/news/uk-34444233 )

In Feng Shui, the billionaire founders of a lot of these tech firms are likely transformed animals or members of secret societies they control. (For a fun side game, pick famous tech founder and try to figure out what animal they are.) Seriously, how many action films (like Bond) feature billionaire villains, even tech billionaire ones? That's golden source material right there.
( thrillist.com/tech/richard- ... d-villians )

What this all means is that to find proper chi-war knowledge or videos on the internet, you'll need to use the dark net.... because the dark net is all over modern films.

I simply forgot about the "action movie realism". To me, being able to monitor online photos and videos H24 was completely unrealistic, even for a global conspiracy with its fingers into all the pies.

Thanks guys for showing me the errors of my ways. :smiley: Also, with the new player being a Spy right out of Alpha Protocol, I'm going to have fun with conspiracies and acronym agencies.

A main branch of the Ascended in my game is GHIDORA:

Global Headquarters for Infiltration, Deception, Oppression, Revenge, and Assassination.

Acronyms are great! :slight_smile:

The tech the Ascended has access to is much better than what the average person has and any technology that is released to the general public often has safe guards put in as needed to prevent certain things becoming know.

In Like a Rat by Greg Stolze the Pledged main character, Tommy Gonnorellim for example has access to a more advanced version of Windows than what was available to the general public. (The particular version he had was also never released in the future the General public. (Like a Rate was an "official short story" that ran in a magazine and the events in it and several other things were incorporated into the Sael of the Wheel sourcebook.

So in regards to the smart phone thing figure that filtering mechanism are in place that are run by super intelligent computers which are able to edit videos, etc. from a smart phone before they are uploaded to a a site or sent to another to change the video, image, etc. to make it look normal.

Also, if you want to get into conspiracy stuff certain things about the exact Hz rate used in music and in audio images can let them control what type of brain waves a person makes to put them in a hypnotic state. In the FS universe hypnosis is different from "real world" hypnosis a n a FS hypnotized person can be made to do things no one else can. Subliminal messages also in the FS universe work much better than in the "real world" and were used by several factions to control the population.

Finally, you do most people in the real world will ignore and notice notice things that should be obvious.

Watch this TED talk video of Michael Schermer. In one point he shows a basketball video. Most people miss something about it. (You'll see it as you know that their is something odd about it.)

ted.com/talks/michael_sherm ... nge_things

I was at biofeedback conference a few years back an the basketball video was shown to a room of psychologists by the presenter and only 3 people out of the roughly 70 in the room spotted the gorilla.

Y'all gave me excellent food for thoughts and eased my mind about the technical side of it.

So, ok, the Ascended CAN do it. However I still wonder how to justify why nobody "notices" that their videos are taken down.
If they do, and start complaining online, the Ascended can take that down too. But IRL, with the information spoken in person, through circles of friends and accointances, and friends of friends, how would that be manageable ?

Just look around, there are people all over the world saying that the government and the Royal Family are lizard aliens and "I've seen them transform and eat babies in their Masonic ceremonies"... nobody believes them either :slight_smile:

People seriously with a straight face say that "Chemtrails" in the sky are the government spraying experimental chemicals on us. Or that mass shootings are "false flag" events staged by the Illuminati to promote a New World Order.

That's the fun part, some people do believe them. It's the fun part for a game like Feng Shui 2, not necessarily for real life :slight_smile:

Also, remember what it means to control a significant portion of feng shui sites--it means things just tend to "go your way".

So even if there's a preponderance of "evidence", if the Ascended control most of the feng shui sites in the Contemporary Juncture, things are just going to go their way. People would dismiss real evidence as a hoax or a conspiracy theory and pay it no mind.

That doesn't mean you can't have true believers or a group of them featuring in a storyline! They could become allies to the Dragons or become crazy far-out extremists driven to terrorism by the bizarre events they've seen.

One of the old 1st edition adventures had a character who was a debunked of things regarding the secret war for the ascended. of I recall correctly.

Additionally, in one of the adventures in Marked for Death talks about the media controls if I remember correctly to dismiss the panoramal stuff.

Also, note that some people are aware that weird things occur in the world or of the existence of some elements of the "Secret War" but don't know all the details or have erroneous beliefs in things regarding it.

The control of feng shui sites also allow for the control needed for people to forget such things and not be concerned, etc. as was pointed out.

Also, regarding subliminal since i mentioned them in a previous post. They use of them by various factions shows up in several of the 1st edition products.

You can also add that the Ascended have been using subliminal , etc. to make people prone to dismiss, such things and not talk about it with others.

The MFD adventure I believe said that terrorist detonated a bio-weapon designed to make people to hallucinate to dismiss the giant demon in it to the population.

In Back for Seconds (BFS) they have a comic book artists who's comics deal with the secret war by incorporating things from it. but the artist has no idea of the war, and most people are going to just think that some stories are overactive imaginations of fans of his comics or a gimmick to promote them. The BFS artist is tapped into the war due to his studio's location and the chi flow gives him ideas, venison, etc.about it that he has incorporated into his art. He as I said has no idea about the secret war and will most likely just dismiss the ideas as being part of his imagination.

Was that a certain transformed spider? :smiley:

Thanks all. Forgot about "Chi flows your way". Don't know how I could, that's how the Architects could shape their absurdly dystopian future so easily after all.

I was thinking of a certain fox. Benjamin Fraknlin Smith from the adventure in Thorns of the Lotus when I wrote my post, but the certain transformed spider also comes to mind. :wink:

Also, since you mentioned a spider. I'll mention for those that don't know. Seal of the Wheel does go into very good deal in the Web of the Spider section of it all about how the Ascended are able to control information on the web and keep things secret and about how long the keep the internet and related tech secret until they thought it was safe for the humans to have it.

One thing that could have let the web be a big threat to the Ascended was the Architects of the Flesh, the turtles were very concerned about them and made at the spiders on letting the humans have access to the internet, but the Ascended aren't much of a threat now in 2nd edition. So you the Ascended don't have to worry too much about losing control of the internet or things getting exposed on it.

Just like in real life. Distract the masses with reality TV and celebrity gossip. The internet trolls will take care of the posted videos with their, "LOL SO FAKE!" and "Cool special effects bruh!" and "GAAAAAAAAAAAY!" comments, while making fun of then people who think it's real so they're ashamed that they considered the possibility that something non science happened, and the religious people will talk about it being the devil. Just like the real internet.