MI5 recruits Sam Fisher

Spy chiefs advertise for recruits in video games

Oct 18, 2007

Science (by which we mean the few 'facts' we've picked up on Wikipedia) suggests that gaming improves hand-eye-coordination and problem solving. Even so, defeating alien invasions or rearranging pipes to hack vending machines isn't going to bag you a career. Or is it?

In actual fact, it seems online gaming might land you a job as a spook. The government's secret services have teamed up with in-game ad company Massive, and during October they aim to target recruitment adverts at online gamers, with the intention of recruiting for hi-tech roles across the country.

"This initiative will, we hope, capture the imagination of people with a particular interest in IT," a source (disappointingly not wearing a trenchcoat and dark glasses) from Government Communication Headquarters informed us today. GCHQ added: "The world of online gaming allows us to target a captive audience. These gamers are particularly receptive to innovative forms of advertising".

Perhaps predictably, two games to feature the recruitment ads will be Splinter Cell Double Agent and Rainbow Six: Vegas. But the GCHQ is spreading the net wide, and ads also appear inEnemy Territory Quake Wars and, bizarrely, Need for Speed: Carbon. Perhaps MI5 is in dire need of getaway drivers?