Wednesday, June 19, 2024

State Dept. Promotes Cat Game to Indoctrinate Students Abroad to Propaganda

'This appears to be the State Department picking winners and losers in the marketplace of political beliefs, not protecting Americans from foreign disinformation...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The State Department is encouraging American diplomats abroad to promote a computer game called Cat Park in order to influence elections abroad.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent out a memo encouraging international consulates to promote “media and info literacy skills” via the game, which is funded by State’s Global Engagement Center and  U.S. Embassy The Hague during UNESCO’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week.

Embassies in Ethiopia and Uganda have already followed through, according to Just the News.

The purported goal of the game is to “build resilience to foreign propaganda and disinformation.”

Cat Park is available in English, Dutch, French and Russian.

The game “inoculates players … by showing how sensational headlines, memes, and manipulated media can be used to advance conspiracies theories and incite real-world violence,” according to Blinken’s memo.

The State Department has requested that the diplomats push the game in schools in their area, as well as setting up special events to promote the game among children.

Blinken even goes as far as recommending recruiting a “local popular influencer, academic, journalist or government official” to play the game with the ambassador, or taking the game to cat cafés.

GEC is “socializ[ing] the game with game developers” to drive further traffic via online marketing.

The game itself invites the player to join a social media campaign against a government-funded cat park and helps them write sensational headlines such as “City prioritizes elitist pets over improving city roads.”

The goal of the game is to discredit corrupt politicians and to stop a dastardly billionaire’s plan to buy the land the cat park is on.

It even references George Orwell’s 1984, with an image of someone holding the book upside down briefly flashing on screen.

The game was reviewed by the Foundation for Freedom Online and was dubbed a tool of “behavior modification.”

Cat Park “gets young people to subliminally perceive that social media posts opposing government corruption are primarily done by disinformation purveyors.

FFO’s Executive Director Mike Benz, himself a former State official, called the game “simply anti-populist.”

“This appears to be the State Department picking winners and losers in the marketplace of political beliefs, not protecting Americans from foreign disinformation,” he added.

Federal government officials have been promoting the game since July when it was presented at a festival called “Games for Change.”

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