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U.S. Spies Want to Play Alternate-Reality Games (For Work, They Swear)

March 13, 2013

By Robert Beckhusen

Alternate-reality games are no longer just for geeks and corporations that want to sell you stuff. America’s intelligence agents now think these interactive games could make for a better way to study human psychology and social behavior.

The intelligence community’s blue-sky researchers, the Intelligence Advanced Research Agency (IARPA), announced they’re seeking designers for alternate-reality games, or ARGs. It’s for work, they swear. The project, which goes by the name UAREHERE (as in “you are here”), “may provide capabilities that allow for high-quality, externally valid social, behavioral and psychological research in near-real world contexts,” according to a request for information released this week.


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