I’d like to think that video games have some sort of educational value. I’ve spent years trying to convince my mother of this very idea. For instance, the first thing I can ever remember reading is the box that our Asteroids Atari cartridge came in. I see gaming as not only entertaining but as a kind of vocational college of sorts. I’ve played a lot of Resident Evil games so therefore I feel qualified to survive a zombie onslaught, for example, and this theory definitely applies to one of my favorite series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.
So allow me to share with you some handy lessons that I’ve learned from playing this classic and award-winning series of video games that might help you too become a master spy.
DO hide unconscious or dead bodies in shadowy places where no one will find them.
This should really be common sense, people. When guards find bodies they get nervous and their trigger fingers get itchy. I mean how would you feel if you’re walking around your office or school, minding your own business, and then you stumble on your friend’s corpse? You’d cause a scene, that’s for sure.
DON’T carry unconscious or dead bodies around and pretend they’re alive like in Weekend at Bernie’s.
I know, I know--the movie was awesome and both Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman rock hardcore, but while you’re performing international acts of espionage is not the time to play a practical joke like this. I mean, sure, pretending to be helping the guy whose throat you just slit when someone else stumbles on the scene might be a good distraction, but the whole game-of-checkers-with-a-dead-guy routine is just not a good idea. And just think of the elaborate system of pulleys you’d need to set up for that.
DO stalk your enemies silently from the shadows.
Again, about as basic as it gets, right? If people don’t know where you are, or better yet, if you’re there at all, they can’t possibly shoot you. Stealth is absolutely essential when it comes to top-notch spyin’—I recommend that you use it.
DON’T come out when someone says something like “come out, come out, wherever you are!”
Enemies are crafty and sometimes they will know something is up and that you’re lurking somewhere in the darkness. They’ll use all sorts of tricks to try and lure you out of hiding and phrases such as the above example are perhaps the most insidious. While it may be tempting to do as you’re told and reveal yourself to the enemy, it’s not a good idea. Of course, you will be morally obligated to appear should they call out “olly olly oxenfree!” but it’s up to you, as a super-spy, to lay your morals aside for the sake of the mission. War is hell.
DO use official gadgets for their intended purposes.
As a spy working for the government you will be outfitted with all of the latest espionage gadgets and gear. This will mean things like stealth suits, fiber-optic cables, microwave-emitting attachments that will knock out electrical devices for a time, high-powered microphones, goggles with multiple vision modes and a slough of other things. Using them all when they’re absolutely necessary is the key to being an awesome spy.
DON’T wear your stealth suit to costume parties to “impress your friends.”
Do this and the NSA might just have to disappear a lot of your drinking buddies.
DON’T use your microwave-emitting pistol attachment to cook food.
I know it might be tempting to heat up a TV dinner while out on a mission, but you must resist the call of hunger. The aroma of half-heated Hot Pocket will surely alert guards and it’s so hard to cook them just right.
DON’T use your special cameras, vision modes, or microphones to spy on your girlfriend when she’s in the Ladies’ Room.
Oh sure, it might sound like a good idea to hear what she gabs about with the ladies, but then you start to hear her talk about you--comparing you to all of her past boyfriends, and how maybe, just maybe, you’re not as good in bed as some of them were. So you confront her about it later and she gets all like “how dare you invade my privacy!” and you’re like “well maybe how big a skank you are shouldn’t be private!” And then she kicks you out of the apartment and you have to move back in with your mom like a loser and you’re sitting at your lame job writing some dumb “do’s and don’ts” article thinking about how much you hate your life and want your skanky girlfriend back.
Uh, where was I? Oh yeah, don’t spy on your girlfriend.
So there you go, some tips I’ve picked up from Splinter Cell (mostly), that would help anyone become a master spy. Now go out there and start collecting information for good ol’ Uncle Sam.
Did these tips help you become a spy-master or are you still the worst hide-and-seek player ever? Send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.