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Absolutely no surprise there then: Modern Warfare 2 is the all-format games Christmas Number One according to the ELSPA software charts just published here in the UK. A position, incidentally, it has held for the six weeks, ever since it was released.

The Top Ten, in case you are interested, is as follows:

  1. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  2. FIFA 10
  3. Wii Fit Plus
  4. Wii Sports Resort
  5. Assassin's Creed II
  6. Mario And Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games
  7. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  8. Forza Motorsport 3
  9. Mario Kart Wii
  10. Just Dance

A little more surprising, it has to be said, is the apparent interest being taken in Modern Warfare 2 by spooks. You might think that spending your leisure time engaging in anti-terrorist shooting activity is something of a busmans' holiday for a spay, and I dare say you are right. But then the interest being taken by GCHQ, a UK Government intelligence organisation with a reputation for being very secret squirrel and works in conjunction with both MI5 and MI6, is more of a professional one.

It would appear that GCHQ has started running an advertising campaign on Xbox Live which targets 18 to 34 year old players of Modern Warfare 2 (as well as Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed II and Left 4 Dead 2). The thinking behind the campaign being that these gamers are likely to possess the same kind of quick thinking and problem solving that GCHQ recruits need. Another important aspect of the Xbox Live play that attracts the spook recruiters is team play, of course.

A GCHQ spokesperson says that the Xbox Live campaign will help it spread the recruitment message "to the right people in a creative and innovative manner" apparently.

I'm not sure that the prospect of 'doing a Modern Warfare 2' in real life will be all that appealing to your average gamer, it has to be said. Certainly the people I chatted to online while playing the game all thought it a rather silly idea. As one said "why would I want to actually risk my life when this is as near to a real experience as you could want without any risk of getting a bullet in the head?" and you know what, I think he has a point...

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