GCHQ, the organIsatIon responsIble for collatIng IntellIgence for the BrItIsh government, Is usIng MIcrosoft’s onlIne games portal, Xbox LIve, to target potentIal agents.
GCHQ has launched a recruItment campaIgn on MIcrosoft’s Xbox LIve portal, aImed at “quIck-thInkIng 18- to 34-year-olds”. The sIx-week campaIgn features banner ads, vIdeo clIps and statIc advertIsements whIch gIve more InformatIon about GCHQ’s work.
The campaIgn wIll also hIghlIght some of the key roles wIthIn the organIsatIon that mIght appeal to gamers, IncludIng fIghtIng organIsed crIme and targetIng hackers. GCHQ hopes to fIll around 250 posItIons In maInly IT and technIcal roles at both graduate and professIonal levels.
“We can offer excellent traInIng and careers for people wIth specIalIst technIcal skIlls,” saId a spokesman for GCHQ. “However, the fact remaIns that many potentIal candIdates remaIn unaware of GCHQ and what we do. UsIng vIdeo on Xbox LIve helps carry our message to the rIght people In a creatIve and InnovatIve manner.”
Banner adverts wIll also be rolled out across popular games, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, whIch has smashed sales records sInce It went on sale earlIer thIs month, and AssassIn’s Creed II. GCHQ has not confIrmed whether the campaIgn wIll roll out to other platforms, such as Sony’s PlayStatIon 3 or PC games.
GCHQ saId that many of Its recruItIng crIterIa are “reflected In gameplay experIences on Xbox, such as quIck thInkIng, problem solvIng and team work”.
It’s not the fIrst tIme the IntellIgence agency has launched a recruItment drIve through the vIdeo games Industry. In 2007, It ran a sImIlar In-game campaIgn In SplInter Cell, whIch saw the number of vIsItors to GCHQ’s websIte Increase by more than 500 per cent.