MI5 recruits Sam Fisher

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?

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.