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Train to be James Bond at this new immersive spying exhibit

Spyscape aims to teach the new skills you need to survive in a 21st-century world.
Spyscape is a "new espionage experience and museum" coming to Manhattan. Credit: Adjaye Associates
Spyscape is a "new espionage experience and museum" coming to Manhattan. Credit: Adjaye Associates

When’s the last time you learned real-world skills at a museum?

That’s the aim of Spyscape, which officially bills itself as a “new espionage museum and experience” opening at 929 Eighth Ave. in Manhattan this December. But its real mission — should you choose to accept it — is to train visitors how to be spies.

“It was created to educate, entertain, and teach visitors how to think like a spy,” according to a press release. “Visitors will learn engaging, transferable skills from the worlds of intelligence, cyber-security and hacking as they interact with the various exhibits and experiences.”  

All skills a well-rounded person in the 21st-century can arguably use, since we’re living in the dystopia of ‘80s science fiction. Spyscape was actually developed with the help of former station chiefs and directors of intelligence agencies (though they’re not named, the museum was funded by Archimedia, a British investment group), as well as educators and museum programmers.

Among the 60,000 square feet of experiences preparing you for a life of spycraft is interrogation booths to hone your emotional intelligence, code-cracking stations, “an immersive surveillance experience” and a laser tunnel to test your reaction times.

At the end, a Spyscape profiling system created by the former head of training at British Intelligence, you’ll be told whether you’d make a better field agent or the handler who gets them out of the fire they inevitably get into.

Espionage afficionados already have the International Spy Museum in Washington (of course) that focuses on the history of spying, while in New York the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s current exhibit details the spycraft that led to the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi who sent millions to concentration camps in Eastern Europe.

This new interactive museum will be designed by Adjaye Associates, who were also behind the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Seeing as our world is rapidly spiraling into one big spy game, whether it’s computers being held hostage by overseas agents or politicians lying in every speech, there’s no better time for all of us to learn how to be just a little bit “international man of mystery.”

The experience will cost you though — regular adult admission is $39. Ready to sign up? Tickets are on sale now.

 
 
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