Coyote’s blog post today is about spies. He begins with a discussion of a real spy, Mike Ramsdell, author of “A Train to Potevka”. Along the way, we learn that most intelligence work is done by middle-aged men rather than James Bond types.

Nonetheless, Coyote wonders why there aren’t any spy RPGs (not counting something called Alpha Protocol due next year sometime). Certainly, there have been spy games out there, but they’ve been mainly adventure games.

It does make you wonder, though, what a spy RPG would be like. Real spying is all about gathering intelligence, mostly. Maybe (ahem) interfering with certain plans by unfriendly people.

RPGs, by their nature, feature a lot of combat. Much more than you’d find even in a spy movie. And somehow, fighting all over the place would seem to defeat the notion of stealth and intelligence gathering.

Of course, there’s always the original Thief. Combat there was definitely to be avoided most of the time. Perhaps that could be used as a model.

I also consider Coyote’s post fortuitous, as today at Wired, they have an article up about teaching new intelligence agents through custom video games. Really.

There are three of them: Rapid Onset, Vital Passage and Sudden Thrust. The folks at Wired got to try out all of them, and their piece is definitely worth reading.

The games sound rather interesting, especially as they’re being used to train real agents. I wonder if they’d sell to the game market? Perhaps not; there isn’t a lot of shooting going on in those games. But then again, real life usually isn’t as much fun as fiction.

Real-life Spy on Coyote’s blog

Training Spies With Video Games on Wired