British intelligence spooking Xbox Live

Adverts, gamer pictures, themes, and videos to hit Microsoft's online service as part of a recruitment drive by the GCHQ.

British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is set to target UK gamers via in-game Xbox Live advertisements. The British intelligence agency, which oversees both internal agency MI5 and external agency MI6, confirmed its plans for a six-week campaign on the platform in such games as Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Assassin’s Creed II.

A mock-up of the upcoming advertising campaign.

In a statement, the GCHQ said that many of its recruitment criteria are "reflected in gameplay experiences on Xbox, such as quick thinking, problem solving, and teamwork." It is looking to "fill around 250 predominantly IT and technical roles at graduate and professional level, many of which require specialist skills which are likely to resonate within the online community."

In addition, the agency is hoping the ads will raise awareness about the type of work that it undertakes on a daily basis to "protect the security and well being of the United Kingdom." As well as static and video ads, the campaign will feature downloadable themes and gamer pictures.

This is not the first time the GCHQ has targeted gamers in this way. A 2007 campaign on Ubisoft's Rainbow Six Vegas and Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Activision’s Enemy Territory: Quake Wars encouraged players to apply for jobs using static in-game adverts. That campaign resulted in a 500 percent increase in hits to the GCHQ recruitment Web site and raised global interest in GCHQ's work, according to the agency.

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Discussion

101 comments
Einsteinium1
Einsteinium1

There aren't too many people who solve problems for fun and that is exactly what they want. It makes sense.

buft
buft

lol do we really want our intellegence agents running around pulling off "headshots" and "pwning" terrorists? wouldnt it be at least better to target universitys rather than people in these games with itchy trigger fingers

slothmang
slothmang

@thibbledorfP maybe they will get one of the twelve intelligent people from there

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

They're trying to find intelligence on Xbox Live? Hmmm...

the2gamer
the2gamer

Mmm... pretty good. But it changes when youre in the field....

PowerstrokeGT
PowerstrokeGT

Its just ads...you nuts. Christ....dont join the military if you dont want. Im not pro join the ranks by any means, but everyone else can use ads, why not the military?

xion-br-3
xion-br-3

HAHA.. This is no surprise to me, thats excactly what FPS games were developed for in the first place. There should be a law against using militant games to brainwash young kids. I mean just look for yourselfes COD 4,HALO 3 ,BATTLEFIELD,GOW 2,L4D etc.. These were not hits by accident! there recruting stations to psycologically brainwash kids who like to shoot and T-bag. Thats our future? YIKES!

rinoflow
rinoflow

Wonderful news. In the future they'll be using ace gamers to actually use as virtual commanders in real world settings. You know the type, dropping bombs on school children and lots of other false flag terror tactics. Now they want to recruit through a sickening level of flattery simple gamers , presumebly to aid them to stop those dreadful dissenting voices against increased government oppression of the general populace. What a wonderful idea. Where do I sign up. You will not win New World Order. Rest assured that will never happen.

SkytheWiz1
SkytheWiz1

Just a thought, but... how do they plan on testing people on Assassin's Creed II on Xbox Live?

Leejjohno
Leejjohno

"In a statement, the GCHQ said that many of its recruitment criteria are "reflected in gameplay experiences on Xbox, such as quick thinking, problem solving, and teamwork."" Damn... I wish I was a smacktalking, egotistical, shortsighted, narrowminded biggot. Maybe then I would have the necessary skillset to be a spook.

clintbrew
clintbrew

i wonder if they gonna send the intersect from chuck an i get flashes like chuck

Dan21278
Dan21278

What is the world coming to?

Xtatic324
Xtatic324

@ alabama2561990 lmao!... nice one

gauty
gauty

he he... me... a secret agent... ha ha ha... lol... :D

DeanSMASH
DeanSMASH

If they start replacing my wanted posters in AC2 to MI5 recruitment advertisements then I'm going to be sick on myself.

key1001
key1001

This is very foolish indeed.

pmo5010
pmo5010

ladies and gentlemen - Goldeneye 007 just became a reality!

OXM-Madman
OXM-Madman

Awesome, by playing video games I might become a secret agent! =D

EverteMax
EverteMax

wahahaha...fun and stop talking about the airport lvl in MW2. It seems that everywhere i go to these few days is all about that...even when it isn't about MW2!!! like this one! if you guys 'really' care so much about morality, go render help to those homeless or needy.

Claidheamb_mor
Claidheamb_mor

This is pretty cool, the British secret service are recruiting gamers. It'd be awesome to work for them! @kamizuka The airport level in Modern Warfare 2 made you feel awful? I think a more cynical approach is important when considering the implications of that scene. It was designed to shock. However, my problem was that the player was being led by the hand, and being forced to move at a snail's pace during the majority of that section. I felt more like an android sentry turret than an "evil terrorist".

Supaza
Supaza

i bearly see how that would work in MW2, but assassin's creed II? You find yourself running away from a load of soldiers and into a bill board advertising GCHQ?

kamizuka
kamizuka

@DFen lol, so MW2 is and advertisement for terrorists PS i didnt like that scene, and gave the game an afwfulfeeling while playing it i remember when gaming was.... you know having fun, awesome hobey. not for all of this crap

steelmouth
steelmouth

Ant this just a swell idea, finally we gamers can now justify our very expensive hobby we can now look in the eye our partners, families and all who trash video games and tell em "am not getting the xbox to play games but to look for a job" duh

JJB03
JJB03

i have never seen a GCHQ advertise for jobs anywhere else? wht y start on the xbox

Wings_008
Wings_008

ex, MegaDrive ex (that's my Gamertag :P)

Excedra
Excedra

whats so scary bout that?

alabama2561990
alabama2561990

wow kinda scary what if you refused they could erase you, your gamertag and body

penpusher
penpusher

@rasco2005 They arent looking for spies ... their looking for IT monkeys, someone to fix the pcs when they break down, nothing more dangerous then that

azureblade89
azureblade89

Gamer's don't make the best of spies..I for one tend to rush into battle gunning away because I know I have infinite respawns depending on the game.

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

So they're spying on people to recruit them, because being spied makes you want to be a spy?

maximo
maximo

its madness.... we are talking about the British secret service advertising on XBOX Live in order to recruit people...

DFen
DFen

well instead of bashing on cod mw2 about that one cutscene in the game at least they see the good side of the game that can help in some way ;)

gnrlstuart
gnrlstuart

orwellian, MI6 potentially spying on gamers.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@Blank2k2 Oh yeah? What did I miss? Anything juicy? :D

jazilla
jazilla

Just use facebook and GPS to spy on us. It's what my government uses to spy on us. I'm an American by the way.

Blank2k2
Blank2k2

@kavadias1981 Abit of a dejavou moment going on here? lol

Xx_Hopeless_xX
Xx_Hopeless_xX

Interesting idea..seeing as i'm not in the UK though it might get annoying to have UK recruitment ads popping up..

punkpunker
punkpunker

"confirmed its plans for a six-week campaign on the platform in such games as Modern Warfare 2" oh no,there will be a 27 year old recruit thinks pistol rambo is cool

DotComBoris
DotComBoris

Surely the people qualified for this job are too busy working. Besides, the real money is not in government!

OF-5
OF-5

Lol i wanted to make fun of this but it is actually pretty cool...

otanikun
otanikun

That's actually pretty friggin cool

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

Its a neat idea... but how many of the people they're reaching out to are actually qualified for that kind of work? For example: I see too many gamers becoming so-called "tech experts" in electronics stores, when really they haven't the slightest clue about the technology they're selling. I admit, its not the best analogy, but what are they looking for, really? Hackers and other tech security experts. Out of all the gamers who will see those ads, how many of them will actually have the skills needed for the job? All they're going to get is thousands of resumes from gamers wanting to be James Bond who don't have the least bit of technical skill, and maybe a handful of useful resumes that they'll have to shovel through the crap just to get to.

Lordborg909
Lordborg909

Its kinda scary that the govt would use games in this way.... big brother is watching you??

boobush
boobush

I wonder how much cash they get for game advertisement, seeing how this has happened before. I don't know, just hear what the govt. says, but don't fall for everything they say, like a fascist. Oh, and singhellotaku, for what I've heard from friends, flying an advanced jet fighter is harder than flying a commencial airline, playing a fast melody in a piano, driving through the desert after hours of driving and getting tunnel vision, all together. To be a pilot you have to be a math genius as well. So don't make claims that can't be backed.