Security museum proves a blast

Updated: 2006-11-10 09:12

Museums are normally known as quiet, austere places.But the Shanghai Museum of Public Security has blasted away those conceptions - literally.

It is offering high-tech role play games (RPGs) complete with large screens that allow visitors to take the role of armed police officers tracking criminals.

"We assigned real police people to make the short movies for the game in hotels, ferry stations, and streets in Shanghai to simulate some action scenes," said Ou Jian, deputy president of the museum."They are quite exciting."

For the majority who are unfamiliar with armed police work, a target practice simulation is also offered to learn the basics of shooting.

The handgun is heavy and is refit from a type-64 handgun, but uses a laser instead of bullets.

Ou shows newcomers the correct way to handle a gun, informing amateurs it is best to use both hands because of the gun's weight - one to pull the trigger and the other to hold the weapon steady.

Swiftness is the key.

"If you hesitate your hands may shake," Ou said.

The distances of the target ranges are 7, 15 and 25 metres, with the computer control system adjusting the distances. You have five shots for each range. I managed 49 points in the 7-metre range, 47 points at the 15-metre range but only 20 in the last one. But I blame my poor performance in the last round on my short sight - I couldn't even see where the target was!

The system also provides moving targets.These exercises are almost the same as police training, the only difference is they use a real bullet.

After honing my shooting abilities, I was ready for the most exciting part - the RPG shooting itself.

The big screen revealed a tree-lined scene, and a caption at the beginning told me I was in a jungle to catch a drug dealer.

I had to keep my wits about me, waiting for the criminal to come into view and then fire.

Over the course of the game, the computer calculates your average reaction speed. I averaged 0.6 to 0.8 seconds,and the museum staff said this was quite quick.

The RPG shooting simulations range in difficulty, with some suspects moving faster than others.

For example, the most difficult scene for me was when I had to catch a criminal in a hotel. As I "broke" down the door of the room, one gangster concealed himself behind the door of the bathroom, aiming a shot at me before disappearing again. I shot Security museum proves a blast at the door several times and succeeded at the fourth time of trying.

In some games you are told to wound,but not kill, the suspect - if you shoot them dead, you lose.

Apart from the RPGs, the museum,which is relatively unknown in the city,provides a range of interesting exhibitions.It collects many records about the history of police in Shanghai. For example, the case detection hall accommodates information about a true crime of a dissected body that happened in the city. The museum records tell you how officers at that time,dozens of years ago, found sections of a body and how they went about finding the killer. The prison hall, meanwhile, displays several strange tools which were used in years gone by.

Shanghai Museum of Public security

Address: 518 South Ruijin Road
Opening time: 9 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Saturday
Tel: 021-6472-0256
Tickets: Children and students 5 yuan,adults 8 yuan


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