A gamer wears augmented reality goggles to play a shooting game during Europe's leading digital games fair Gamescom, which showcases the latest trends of the computer gaming scene in Cologne, Germany, August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay(REUTERS)
A gamer wears augmented reality goggles to play a shooting game during Europe's leading digital games fair Gamescom, which showcases the latest trends of the computer gaming scene in Cologne, Germany, August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay(REUTERS)

German army seeks out gamers in hunt for computer-savvy recruits

With a stand boasting a helicopter simulator and ultra-fast games, the Bundeswehr, Germany’s army, has turned to the Gamescom fair in its bid to recruit computer-savvy potential soldiers.
By Agence France-Presse | Germany
PUBLISHED ON AUG 24, 2019 12:35 PM IST

Among countless stands of car manufacturers, software developers and engineering universities at Cologne’s video games convention, the sight of fatigue-clad soldiers manning the German military’s brightly-lit stall draws in the curious.

With a stand boasting a helicopter simulator and ultra-fast games, the Bundeswehr, Germany’s army, has turned to the Gamescom fair in its bid to recruit computer-savvy potential soldiers.

The call to arms is clear under a “Centre of Cyber Operations” sign with a keyboard-inspired logo in the colours of the German flag -- “the Cyber-force of the Bundeswehr”.

“We are looking for people who specialise in information technology -- those with a taste for computers are knocking at the right door,” Nils Feldhoff, an army communications officer, told AFP.

Dozens of young gamers, visiting the stand at the Gamescom convention, flocked to try their hand at the army’s flight simulator or test their reactions on a two-player game.

However, the military personnel was careful to spell out the difference between the reality of life in the ranks and violent military-based video games.

“We have a clear educational mission: we strictly try to separate virtual games from reality by explaining to any interested young people that this is not a video game,” Feldhoff said.

If a gamer “wants to become a soldier because he is interested in weapons, that’s not a good argument,” he added.

- Online battles -

Drawn by the unusual stand, 19-year-old computer enthusiast Lucas Heilmann said he “answered a few questions about different programming languages, networks and databases”.

The army’s broad campaign to enlist computer-savvy youngsters includes a series of computer-themed posters, one featuring a blond female recruit in fatigues working on a robot.

It is part of an initiative to change the public image of obsolete equipment and under-investment that has plagued the Bundeswehr, made worse by recent scandals over the presence of far-right soldiers in the ranks.

Since Germany ended conscription in 2011, the military must now recruit pro-actively.

But it has struggled to find talent in the information technology field, badly needed in a possible cyber warfare.

While the army’s stand was buzzing with visitors, other Gamescom visitors chose to stay away as they voiced scepticism over the recruitment campaign.

“Frankly, the competent hackers here are not stupid enough to sit down with the military to show off their skills right next to... the intelligence services,” said 20-year-old Gamescom visitor Linus Niebuhr.

His gaze lands on a nearby stand from Germany’s intelligence service, which is also seeking to attract information technology fans and, according to a spokeswoman, also potential “employees to deal with and observe right-wing extremists”.

“We attach great importance to reliability, willingness to take responsibility and the ability to work as a team,” she said.

But others were not convinced.

“My generation of players defend a free internet and when you see the intelligence services, you think you will be controlled,” said 34-year-old lawyer and occasional gamer Tim Henrik Walter.

“It’s better to stay away.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. (REUTERS FILE)
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. (REUTERS FILE)

FDA set to approve J&J’s single-dose Covid vaccine, the third for US

By Yashwant Raj I Edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:32 PM IST
US Food and Drug Administration has told Johnson & Johnson it will “rapidly work toward finalisation and issuance of an emergency use authorisation.”
Close
Workers install barbed wire on fencing outside the Hennepin County Government Center, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Minneapolis.(AP)
Workers install barbed wire on fencing outside the Hennepin County Government Center, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2021 in Minneapolis.(AP)

Growing tension in Minneapolis as trial looms in George Floyd's death

AP, Minneapolis
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 09:05 PM IST
  • Mayor Jacob Frey and Gov. Tim Walz, both Democrats, were sharply criticized for failing to move faster to stop last summer's looting and destruction.
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Biden revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering US.(Bloomberg)
U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Biden revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering US.(Bloomberg)

Undocumented immigrants should be vaccinated without ICE fear: Biden

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:37 PM IST
"I want to make sure they are able to get vaccinated and so they are protected from Covid without the ICE or anyone interfering," The Hill quoted Biden as saying during an interview with Univision.
Close
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain January 11, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT(via REUTERS)
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain January 11, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT(via REUTERS)

Sunak plots tax raid to plug UK deficit, risking Tory rage

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:27 PM IST
When he comes to deliver his budget on Wednesday, the chancellor of the exchequer faces a battle to persuade his colleagues of the need to turn down the flow of government spending, and to address the painful hole in the public finances, approaching 400 billion pounds ($558 billion).
Close
Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun flashes the three-fingered salute, a gesture of defiance done by anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.(AP)
Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun flashes the three-fingered salute, a gesture of defiance done by anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.(AP)

Myanmar ambassador to UN fired after he urged to reverse military coup: Report

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:24 PM IST
Kyaw Moe Tun had told the UN General Assembly he was speaking on behalf of the ousted civilian government of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Close
Sri Lankan health workers carry a coffin carrying remains of a COVID -19 victim to a cremation furnace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)(AP)
Sri Lankan health workers carry a coffin carrying remains of a COVID -19 victim to a cremation furnace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)(AP)

Sri Lanka's end to forced cremations of Covid-19 dead on hold: official

PTI, Colombo
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:20 PM IST
"This will take some time as guidelines on many aspects need to be determined and issued," said the top health official Asela Gunawardena.
Close
Activists march and shout slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka on February 27, 2021 following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail months after his arrest under internet laws which critics say are used to muzzle dissent.(AFP)
Activists march and shout slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka on February 27, 2021 following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail months after his arrest under internet laws which critics say are used to muzzle dissent.(AFP)

Bangladeshi writer, detained over anti-govt social media posts, dies in jail

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:17 PM IST
According to The New York Times (NYT), Ahmed's death inside prison is raising alarms about the country's crackdown on dissent.
Close
An Iranian protester holds the picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as she attends an anti U.S. demonstration in Tehran, Iran,(Reuters)
An Iranian protester holds the picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as she attends an anti U.S. demonstration in Tehran, Iran,(Reuters)

Internet disruption reported in southeast Iran amid unrest

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:59 PM IST
Several rights groups reported in a joint statement that authorities shut down the mobile data network in the restive provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan, calling the disruptions an apparent “tool to conceal” the government’s harsh crackdown on protests convulsing the area.
Close
Used Covid-19 vaccination syringes used to administer the Pfizer vaccine are shown in a container.(AP)
Used Covid-19 vaccination syringes used to administer the Pfizer vaccine are shown in a container.(AP)

Plunging Covid-19 test demand may leave US with supply glut

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:58 PM IST
More than 180 government-supported sites are operating at only a third of their capacity. “It’s shocking how quickly we’ve gone from moving at 100 miles an hour to about 25,” said Dr. Clemens Hong, who leads the county’s testing operation.
Close
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)

New climate pledges 'far short' of meeting Paris Agreement goals: UN

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:53 PM IST
The UN Chief stated that now is the time the global coalition committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is growing, across governments, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society.
Close
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia,(Reuters)
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia,(Reuters)

Russian scientists say Sputnik V performs well against Covid mutations

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:31 PM IST
Last month President Vladimir Putin ordered a review by March 15 of Russian-produced vaccines for their effectiveness against new variants spreading in different parts of the world.
Close
Prosecutors have brought charges against more than 250 people so far in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(AP)
Prosecutors have brought charges against more than 250 people so far in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(AP)

Capitol rioters tell court Donald Trump 'summoned' them to instigate Jan 6 riots

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:22 PM IST
  • While experts say blaming Trump may not get their clients off the hook, it may help at sentencing when they ask the judge for leniency.
Close
EAM Jaishankar had said that India has been "very much" at the forefront of the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and is providing vaccines to the world under 'Vaccine Maitri' initiatives.(Samir Jana/HT File)
EAM Jaishankar had said that India has been "very much" at the forefront of the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and is providing vaccines to the world under 'Vaccine Maitri' initiatives.(Samir Jana/HT File)

Iran expects 250,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from China

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:04 PM IST
Alireza Raisi, deputy health minister, says the country will receive doses of other vaccines, including from India, in the “near future” as the country struggles to fight the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East.
Close
People with income above the threshold will receive smaller payouts.(REUTERS)
People with income above the threshold will receive smaller payouts.(REUTERS)

US Covid relief plan: Here’s who could be eligible for $1,400 direct payments

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:54 PM IST
  • The other key elements of the bill include unemployment benefits until the end of August and monthly benefits to parents of children under the age of 18.
Close
Archeologists uncover an ancient ceremonial carriage in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy,(Reuters)
Archeologists uncover an ancient ceremonial carriage in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy,(Reuters)

Archaeologists uncover ancient ceremonial carriage near Pompeii

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:52 PM IST
Pompeii, 23 km (14 miles) southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when it was buried under ash, pumice pebbles and dust as it endured the force of an eruption equivalent to many atomic bombs.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP