New York’s Spyscape Makes Museumgoers into Secret Agents

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Now that talks of Idris Elba replacing Daniel Craig as 007 in the seemingly endless James Bond movie franchise have made the rounds, and the Cold War rivalry between the U.S. and Russia has been somewhat reignited (now with the added territory and complications of cyberspace), the sleek and glamorous spy game of Hollywood yesteryear is becoming fashionable once again. Ever dream of stepping into the shoes of a double agent yourself?  Well, now more than ever, such a transformation is possible thanks to Spyscape – 60,000 square feet of interactive museum space dedicated to espionage romanticism and digital mixed media experiences located on Eighth Avenue in New York near Times Square.  

Designed by David Adjaye, the architect of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, this three-level pavilion is divided into seven galleries, each one employing interactive experiences that focus on a different dimension and/or skill associated with being a spy (deception, encryption, surveillance, hacking, intelligence, cyberwarfare and special ops). onedotzero, a company specializing in immersive environments and experiential design, also signed on in a consulting capacity to refine branding, architectural interiors, signage, experiences and technology.

Each floor of Spyscape offers a customized experience based on physical challenges as well as tests and questionnaires administered by kiosks that scan each visitor’s ID bracelet. These tests collate personality traits, risk tolerance and IQ before classifying you as an agent with one of 10 possible specialties, including hacker, intelligence analyst, spycatcher and cryptologist. After learning about some historical highlights in the real-life spy game and completing your make-believe assessments, the last chamber features a robot disclosing your dossier, and presumably, your mission…if you choose to accept it.  

Check out the video below for a tour:

Spyscape is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are based on timed entry and can be purchased online for a discount.

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa, TBO.com, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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