Posted on | August 19, 2009 | 4 Comments
Have you ever spied on someone? Have you ever wanted to be a real spy?
The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC now offers an amazing taste of what it’s like with a GPS-triggered game and tour of the city. Inspired by two real FBI cases – Operation Lemon-Aid, conducted in 1977, and KITTY HAWK in 1966 – Spy in the City is a 1.2 mile (1.5 hour), $16 experience using the BarZ Adventures GPS Ranger device. Code-named ‘Geo-Cobra’, the multimedia handheld uses Flash to simulate the experience of receiving text messages, audio, video, photographs and other breaking intelligence from headquarters as you track a foreign agent. You scan for fingerprints, descramble audio messages and decipher local monuments to identify your quarry.
It’s an ambitious application of the new technology, offering lots of important lessons for others interested in trying the treacherous world of location-based mobile, as well as exploring the value of gaming in education. For those less intrepid, this interview with the tour’s author, Amanda Ohlke, and the Museum’s Executive Director, Peter Earnest, also shares ideas on lower-tech mobile programs like scavenger hunts, and how they can be leveraged for team-building and other group experiences. After all, “it’s not about the technology” Ã¢â‚¬â€œ though I do try to get some hints from Peter, a former spy with the CIA himself, as to what new mobile tricks we might inherit from the clandestine services in the next generation!