State Dept Paid $275K for Video Game to ‘Counter Disinformation’

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By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

The State Department spent $275,000 to develop a video game for people 15 and up to counter disinformation, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraging diplomatic and consular posts worldwide to promote it.

The video game, “Cat Park,” was funded by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center and the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands and released to coincide with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s — or UNESCO’s —  Global Media and Information Literacy Week in October, Just The News reported.

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“With the Internet, only two things are certain: the global appeal of cat videos and the pervasiveness of disinformation,” a leaked State Department memo states. “Cat Park inoculates players against real-world disinformation by showing how sensational headlines, memes, and manipulated media can be used to advance conspiracy theories and incite real-world violence.”

Besides engaging diplomatic and consular posts, the State Department hopes to get “Cat Park” — available in English, Dutch, French, and Russian – used in local schools, Just The News reported.

Diplomats are also expected to “organize special rollout events,” the memo states, such as ambassadors playing the game “with a local popular influencer, academic, journalist or government official” or taking the game to cat cafes.

The State Department’s Global Engagement Center will “socialize the game with game developers” and advertise the game through a marketing firm.

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The game aspires to create a “psychological vaccination against fake news” in those surfing social media according to Foundation for Freedom Online.

The project is using taxpayer dollars to fund “behavioral modification propaganda games intended to make young people around the world view populist content online as being de facto “disinformation,” Foundation for Freedom said. “It is almost as if the government is using the video game of Cat Park to get young people to subliminally believe that opposing the government is only done by disinformation purveyors.”

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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