British Army using videogames to recruit

Combined with TV ads to reach audience.

The British Army is using a combined television-and-videogame advertising attack to entice a fresh batch of young recruits.

The campaign, called "Start Thinking Soldier", leads the curious to an army website that features an interactive video shot from the perspective of a faceless soldier. Eventually the action pauses and the player is asked, "What would you do?" Multiple options can then be picked from.

From there we - after deciding to blow up the wall - were taken to a point-and-click-style game to identify materials that can be used as explosives. After doing very well indeed, we found ourselves in a first-person shooter section with familiar "WASD" and arrow-key controls. But we soon got bored.

Young people between the age of 17 and 21 are the target demographic for the campaign, as research has found that 68 per cent of the age-group have no career path in mind.

Four television adverts - covering teamwork, decision making, leadership, fitness and mental sharpness - aim to spark the initial surge of curiosity. Each advert ends with the question, "What would you do?"

The news arrives as Konami unveils a videogame that will retell the real stories of US marines at the battle of Fallouja, Iraq, back in 2004. Apparently videogames more readily reach the minds of soldiers than either books or films these days.

We're not sure whether any of this is a good thing. You?

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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