You know that old trope about kids who play videogames that are actually secret government evaluation programs designed to draft quick-witted children into secret adventures? British intelligence organization GCHQ has taken that a little too seriously, and is planning to use videogames to attract new blood.
GCHQ, which works with the MI5 and MI6, will use Xbox Live to reach potential employees, where it believes that gamers exhibit the traits they look for, “such as quick thinking, problem solving and team work.” If they also needed racists and homophobes, I’d say that Xbox Live users were indeed the perfect recruitment material.
“As well as tackling ‘traditional threats’ GCHQ’s work is also about helping government departments, such as the Ministry of Defence, to protect their information and communication systems,” states a GCHQ rep. “This means we can offer excellent training and careers for people with specialist technical skills. 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.”
The irony of an “intelligence” organization recruiting through Xbox Live has been lost on none of us.