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US dev teams up with CIA

We're a bit frightened.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

US developer Destineer has signed a development agreement with In-Q-Tel, a private business funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to CEO Gilman Louie - the man who brought Tetris over to the US - In-Q-Tel exists to "identify and invest in cutting-edge technology solutions that serve US national security interests." Which presumably means things like retina viewers, fingerprint scanners and televisions containing secret cameras that watch you all the time - something at least one conspiracy theorist we know believes in.

USA Today says that I-Q-Tel receives up to $45 million a year from the CIA. Louie reportedly contacted Destineer after observing that screenshots of Close Combat: First to Fight - the developer's first title, made in co-operation with US Marines - were more realistic that the government's own simulation programmes.

"It's all about making games that give players authentic insight into certain people's dangerous lives," Destineer president Peter Tamte told Gamespot.

"We're trying to give players the opportunity to live the experiences of people they've so far only been able to read about or see on TV or in movies - and know that what they're experiencing in the video game is the real thing."

So what's in it for the CIA? Well, Tamte says Destineer will create training systems "far more effective than our government has been getting in the past, while at the same time, getting unique subject matter expertise from these government customers that we use to make our commercial video games more authentic.

"It's a great deal - taxpayers save money, and game players get authentic experiences," he explains.

"Since we're now working with many agencies within the intelligence community, we expect this work will result in many different retail games," Tamte says. Expect not just a generic FPS but also CIA Kart Racer, CIA Tennis and CIA San Andreas some time next year, then.

Anyone thinking of smashing up their TV to see if there really is a CIA camera inside should be sure to ask their parent, guardian or girlfriend first.

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