S. Korea spy agency launches educational ‘spot the spy’ game

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) in South Korea has decided it’s time to educate the country’s youth about the Northern spies in their midst. And the ‘spot the spy’ flash video game is how they plan to do it. The game marks the 59th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, which broke out on June 25, 1950.

South Korea's online 'spot the spy' game

Incentive to play (and learn in the process) is a slew of prizes ranging from laptops to digital cameras to game consoles. All players have to do is access the game at the following link: www.nis111.co.kr between June 22 and July 21 to have a shot at being one of 200 prize winners. But even more importantly, players will (at least in theory) leave the game with a better understanding of how to identify the North Korean spies and sympathizers milling about South Korea. Bloggers who link to the game have been promised free watches.

An NIS spokesperson told an AFP reporter that the purpose of the game is to “promote public awareness about security” and that it primarily targets “young people who do not know North Korea well.” The game’s animated characters and somewhat simplified situations are clearly geared to appeal to a younger demographic.

southkoreaspygame2The game requires that players identify as spies people who act suspiciously by posting propaganda online and then quickly fleeing the Internet café, by encouraging violence at anti-U.S. and anti-government gatherings, by taking photos at sensitive military and industrial sites, by covering their mouths with their hands when they speak, etc.

Some have ridiculed the intelligence agency’s approach, saying that the game simplifies the issue. Real spies are not nearly so easy to spot as the game suggests, critics contend.

Liberal groups, meanwhile, have expressed concern that the game depicts those in favor of unification as spies. The concern is legitimate, as the game specifically requests players to be weary of those who praise North Korea, including reunification activists who speak of economic collaboration and family get-togethers between the North and South.

images from NIS website

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Posted in: Movies, Etc, Spy News


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