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UK Government To Use Xbox Live To Enrol GCHQ Staff

Soon, interactive video adverts by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) will appear on the Xbox LIVE dashboard as part of an integrated online campaign by the UK government.

Marketing magazine reports that the campaign will last six weeks and will target the core audience of the Xbox 360 users, namely those aged between 18 and 34 years old.

Designed by TMP worldwide, the campaign will also feature streamed video banners in games like Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Assassin's Creed II.

A spokesperson for GCHQ told the Guardian that "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".

Apparently many games being played on the Xbox reflect the way the army work with criteria such as quick thinking, problem solving and team work being woven into the fabric of the gaming experience. GCHQ is also planning the release of themes and other downloads.

The organisation, which is in charge of collecting intelligence for the British government, had previously partnered with Microsoft in 2007 but on PC-based online games only. It is not known whether the ads will be rolled out on other platforms such as Sony's popular PS3 or on PC.

Our Comments

One commentator has noted that unless you have enough job experience (i.e. relative old), it is highly unlikely that you would be recruited by the GCHQ. Ironically, the ad agency seems to prefer the first person shooters (FPS) games rather than the seemingly more suited strategy and puzzle segment.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.