Code & Cipher Kiosks for Kids
NCMF Purchases Kiosks for NCM Children's Game Room
When the National Cyptologic Museum (NCM) requested assistance from the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation (NCMF) in developing a kiosk and cryptologic oriented software games for young adults, the NCMF agreed to look into the challenge.
After some investigation, the NCMF met with Nisus Technologies, a Fort Meade small business engaged with support to the Intelligence Community. Nisus President Joe Sperber knew just the group to help develop games of a cryptologic nature based on some guidance from NCM staffer Jennifer Wilcox.
Nisus provided contact with an associated company, Benxing Entertainment, which specialized in web-based games for young adults. Benxing President Tom Phillips accepted the challenge at no cost and provided two new generation games designed for the kiosks at the NCM. The entire effort was a collaboration in that the NCM provided the objective of the cryptologic nature of the games, Benxing provided the software games, Nisus provided the integration of the software and hardware at no cost, and the NCMF provided the kiosks.
The two games,"Cipher Express" and "Cryptogram" introduce players, young and old, to the basic concepts of cryptology. "Cipher Express" allows players to try different methods of encryption using a futuristic train. "Cryptogram" allows the player to decipher a variety of different quotes. The games also give parents an opportunity to interact with younger children as they work together on the breaking the ciphers. Both games have been well received, particularly by teenagers who like testing their skills using a form of technology familiar to them.