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International Spy Museum, Washington DC - Spy in the City - An Interactive Game Ideal for Families.538DCSpyMuseum This summer, visitors to the nation's capital can now engage in an entertaining game of Spy vs. Spy.  The International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. has launched Spy in the City, the first-of-its-kind GPS-enabled multimedia interactive game that enables participants to see the nation’s capital through the eyes of a spy.

The International Spy Museum is one of my favorite spots in one of my favorite cities. It is one terrific (interesting and rewarding) museum to share with kids, teens, parents, and grandparents. That said, if you have never been to the International Spy Museum then make it your first stop in the city and if you’ve “been there and done that” then standby for a new twist.

Imagine sharing a spy adventure with your kids; embarking on a high-stakes mission around the Capitol grounds, Ford's Theatre, the National Archives and other points of interest in the national capital to uncover a double agent threatening to divulge security secrets to the enemy. As special agents with unique identities, each player must find out who this double agent is and foil his or her attempts at sabotage.  By finding evidence along the way, following video clues, cracking codes, answering trivia questions and solving flash-based games and puzzles to earn points, users work their way towards unraveling the mystery. 538DCSpyGameKids 

Create your own urban adventure. The GPS-based interactive experience Spy in the City™, at the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. was created by BarZ Adventures and is designed for individuals, small groups and ideal for families. Spy in the City transforms the nation’s capital city into a virtual game board, with the players themselves as game pieces.  Participants embark on a series of exciting self-guided outdoor missions using espionage tradecraft and intelligence collection activities.

Here’s how it works. Equipped with a GPS Ranger® handheld device loaded with the new Ranger Quest™ game technology, participants follow video clues from SSD headquarters solving Flash-based games to earn points as they work their way towards mission completion. As players approach pre-determined GPS waypoints around the Capitol and other points of interest such as Ford's Theatre, The Newseum and the National Archives, the GPS Ranger will automatically download clues, information, (and possibly misinformation!) delivered by a wide range of media.  This includes messages from filmed characters—from agents to sources to moles—and documents, codes, audio intercepts, and photos for analysis. This adventure style mission offers participants the opportunity to test their spy skills as they explore DC’s neighborhoods. The International Spy Museum is committed to engaging guests and enhancing their experience, particularly through interactive activities that push the boundaries of available technology. The Museum’s permanent exhibit offers state-of-the-art audiovisual effects, film, and hands-on components, making the tradecraft of espionage real while showcasing the ingenuity and imagination of real-life spies and spymasters. With Spy in the City, the Museum takes this dedication to immersive experience outside the Museum’s walls into the streets of our nation’s magnificent capital city.538DCSpyGameBoard

Spy in the City was crafted in collaboration with former intelligence officers. It delivers unique missions based on real espionage cases. The adventure options range from one to three hours in length and are recommended for ages 10+. Spy in the City is available only at the International Spy Museum. 

About the Museum. I won’t drag on about the exhibits all of which are fascinating however to take advantage of a visit (definitely for first timers) it is essential to try one of the three clever scavenger hunts available at the museum. Not only will it give you something to share long after the museum visit and hunt are through, it is likely to provide incite about family members. The unique competition includes answering questions, solving problems, and decoding messages with the help of top secret bag of tricks. For sometimes apathetic teens I suggest “Operation Spy”, an active experience for ages 12 and older that allows participants to get in the spy game facing plenty of challenges including low light levels, confining spaces, sound effects, and physical and mental challenges in a race against the clock.  Bonus points: There is also a cool way to stay connected with the International Spy Museum. Each month they produce a SpyCast featuring interviews and programs with ex-spies, intelligence experts, and espionage scholars. The SpyCast is hosted by Peter Earnest, Executive Director of the International Spy Museum and former CIA operations officer.

Location on the planet. The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC’s historic Penn Quarter, is within four blocks of the National Mall, directly across the street from the National Portrait Gallery, and within one block of FBI headquarters and Ford’s Theatre.  The Museum is conveniently located near the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station serviced by the red, yellow and green lines. International Spy Museum 800 F Street, NW (202) EYE SPY U ((202)393-7798) or

About BarZ Adventures. The GPS Ranger® and Ranger Quest™ interactive game software are innovations of BarZ Adventures.  Founded in 2005 and combining experts in the fields of computer delivery systems and content development, the Austin, Texas-based company has designed the patented GPS Ranger® and Zoo Ranger® systems, as well as the new Ranger Quest™ gaming software with large venues and their visitors in mind.  The mission of the company is to enhance the visitor experience at high visitation tourist locations using modern technology. For more information visit or or call (512)732-0135.

Content and images provided by International Spy Museum and FTF. Comments by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Editor FTF. Copyright 2013.
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