In 2009, a strange Facebook account appeared out of nowhere and friended people en-masse. The name on the account was Junko Junsui, and she had a message for anyone willing to listen.

Thus began a strange mystery that would continue for years to come, as countless people across the internet became enamored of Junsui, her story, and the shadowy organizations she claimed were hiding in plain sight. It was never real, of course. But that doesn’t make the story any less remarkable, or make it feel less real.

First: Junko Junsui, and her Facebook account.

Some people actually accepted the seemingly random request, and, upon investigating further, found that Junko was not just a friendly Russian beauty, as her profile initially made it seem. Rather, she appeared to be a part of a weird alternate reality game involving a terrorist group called ‘The Junsui,’ Russia, and private military companies—all of which were warring with one another across the internet.

Judging from early threads following the game, many found untangling Junko Junsui’s web to be a thrill, which makes sense: the confusing premise seemed as if it was lifted straight out of a Metal Gear Solid plot. Shadowy organizations, corrupt governments, overzealous groups defined by genetic modification, a huge conspiracy: Junko Junsui delivered on all fronts. But more than that, people found the entire thing disturbing, too. One of the most notable early clues in the ARG led players to discover video clips of a woman trapped inside of a room...
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In 2009 I was fascinated by this. I even went so far as to become friends on Facebook with Junko Junsui and others of the Junsui, like Vera Novosi, who I'm still friends with. For people who love games and conspiracies, this article is worth the read. So much work went into this ARG (Alternate Reality Game).