Daily Illuminator

April 10, 2008: Nonviolent Ninja

When I ran across the story, I thought it might make another "game scenario ideas from real life" article. The answer is yes. This one doesn't even have to be exaggerated. It's pretty hard to believe as is. Freelance investigative journalism used to be one or two reporters, maybe with miniature cameras . . . this kicks it up two or three notches.

There is a small community in Japan which conducts a huge dolphin hunt every year. It's a massive undertaking; unlike "traditional" village hunts elsewhere, it's an industrial operation. For fear of criticism, it's also very secretive; observers are kept away by police, and tarps hide the cove where the killing takes place. A film team with a massive budget breached that secrecy, using devices and tactics straight out of a Tom Clancy novel. Apparently they got some really shocking footage which shows that the town, and the national bureacracy supporting it, had a lot to hide. Euuuuuuw.

If you have a player group that wants to play techie ninja but does NOT want a military campaign (or if they're just tree-huggers like me), you could turn this into an excellent adventure.

Warning: The story I link to above is clearly admiring of the "ninja" filmmakers and critical of the dolphin-killers, but it is reasonably written. The photo caption at the top, though, was written by a frothing nutcase with issues about the Japanese people, and has no business in journalism, even advocacy journalism. Don't prejudge the interesting story by the nasty photo caption.
-- Steve Jackson

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