A British intelligence agency is to recruit staff via Xbox Live. But sadly it’s not a case of hunting down the players with the best scores in stealth and puzzle games.
Instead the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is to advertise through videos played on the main dashboard screen. The agency says that not only is it a good way of reaching 18-34 year olds who might not see traditional print or broadcast ads, but that the skills it looks for in candidates can be “reflected in game-play experiences on Xbox, such as quick thinking, problem solving and team work.” Presumably figuring out how to get a modded console to run online after the recent crackdown might also demonstrate the necessary abilities.
The agency’s main role is protecting the security of the communications technology used by the government, armed forces and security agencies.
Officially there is no connection between GCHQ and the Xbox beyond a simple advertising deal. However, I’m not convinced. At the top of this story you’ll have seen a model of GCHQ’s main building (taking photographs of it is generally frowned upon.) However, look a little closer and the full extent of the agency’s powers may become clearer: