Wednesday 18 October 2017

Irish Defence Forces release interactive video game to inspire new recruits

Irish Defence Forces Photo: Frank McGrath
Irish Defence Forces Photo: Frank McGrath

Hayley Halpin

The Irish Defence Forces have become the first military in the world to create a first-person interactive video as part of a recruitment campaign.

A total of 3,600 applicants have applied for a role in the Defence Forces since the campaign’s launch by Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, on February 23. The figure leaves the 860 applicants that the Defence Forces wished to receive completely shadowed.

“This year’s recruitment campaign is exceptionally important as the Defence Forces seek to recruit 860 applicants across general service, apprentices and cadets.

“This campaign is reaching out to potential recruits on platforms that they are accustomed to, offering them a unique opportunity to become immersed in the type of intense Defence Forces training exercise they can expect to face as they begin their military career,” Minister Kehoe said.

The Defence Forces launched the campaign with an aim to recruit the demographic of frequent gamers.

The interactive video, titled “A New Dawn”, uses a real soldier avatar to fully immerse players in the reality of becoming a soldier in a platoon which is involved in a joint land, sea and air assault.

The Defence Forces said that the scenario “gives players a chance to appreciate the skill, determination and courage required of Defence Forces personnel as they conduct their basic training.”

The campaign made its first appearance with a teaser trailer similar to the type of advertisement that would normally be associated with the launch of a major video game.

In the lead up to the launch, the game’s teaser trailer received widespread attention from the gaming community as they attempted to establish its origins. However, upon launch day, those who visited the website came to the realisation that it was not in fact a game, but the Defence Force's newest recruitment campaign.

“How we are reaching out to potential recruits is different this year, but what we offer them remains the same.

"A career in the Defence Forces is an opportunity to serve your country and to make an impact in some of the world’s most troubled regions while also receiving first class training and education along the way,” Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett said.

This isn’t the first time the Defence Forces have aimed their campaign at a target audience. They won a Silver Lion at the Cannes Festival for Creativity for its female focused campaign last year.

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