Just over a month ago, New York got a new attraction: SPYSCAPE, a museum dedicated to the espionage’s world. Thiago and I were there a few days ago and I was looking forward to sharing it with you! Despite being presented as a museum, the experience goes far beyond that. SPYSCAPE provides a creative, interactive and stimulating experience that gives insight into what espionage work and intelligence operations are all about. The place has three dynamics: a contemporary museum, an immersive experience and a journey of personal discovery.
Contemporary Museum: SPYSCAPE explores amazing Spy Stories and characters — from code-breakers and spy pilots, to the spycatcher who brought down the FBI’s most damaging traitor, and the teenager who hacked the CIA’s website — all brought to life with world-class artifacts and multimedia storytelling.
Immersive Experience: SPYSCAPE features interactive experiential Spy Challenges, in which visitors can test their own spy skills, including lie detection in interrogation booths, observation in
a 360-degree live surveillance mission, and agility in special ops laser tunnels.
- Encryption Challenge – Visitors will use ciphers to send and receive coded messages to and from agents behind enemy lines. These messages, and how quickly and accurately they’re sent, will determine the success of missions, which then play out as short animated stories based on real-life events.
- Deception Challenge – Visitors will learn to lie, and learn the art and science of spotting lies, in an interrogation room. A pulse monitor and facial and audio recognition software track heartbeat, facial expressions, and vocal cues as they try their hand at lying.
- Surveillance Challenge – Surrounded by a 360-degree projection of live and pre-recorded CCTV imagery, wear special headsets fitted with microphones and voice-recognition software as a surveillance officer takes them through authentic surveillance missions to test their powers of observation.
- Special Ops Challenge – Visitors will make split-second decisions, reach for illuminated targets, and negotiate a path through laser beams to reach the end of the tunnels while scoring against the clock. This challenge tests agility, strategy and reaction times in this thrilling twist on a laser maze.
A journey of Personal Discovery: Throughout the SPYSCAPE galleries (Encryption, Deception, Surveillance, Hacking, Cyber-Warfare, Special Ops, and Intelligence), visitors will encounter Question Stations testing their spy attributes such as risk-tolerance, brainpower, and personality. As visitors proceed through the galleries, their interactions in the Spy Challenges and Question Stations contribute to their overall Spy Profile.
It’s a very interesting experience! SPYSCAPE space is large and super modern. Upon arrival, you receive a wristband, with your information. Each time you answer questions and tests on totems or take the challenges, you need to scan your wristband (this is how the system collects your test data to trace your spy profile). The distinct galleries blend well the three dynamics: museum, with artifacts and information, challenges and stations.
We had fun at SPYSCAPE! As I’m not a person who loves museums, I enjoyed the interactive part much more, but Thiago liked everything! I believe it is a great program for anyone interested in this subject and fluent in English – because everything is in English.
SPYSCAPE is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm and the visit lasts an average of one hour and a half to two hours. Tickets cost $39 (adults) and $32 (children) and can be purchased at the place or ONLINE.
Address: 928 8th Ave.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.