We’ve all been there. The hiring process at a new job is typically a gauche, banal affair. There is lengthy paperwork fill out. Contracts to go over. An icy rep from H.R. casting a watchful eye. The shameful revelation that you’ve forgotten your pen and have to ask to borrow one. Then, there’s the issue of deciding where you’d like to work in the first place. It’s a daunting question.
Will the company culture gel with you?
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One company has found a solution with videogames. To let prospective employees know that it’s indeed a hip, fun-loving workplace, the tech start-up WibiData has created a Portal 2 mod, hoping to lure ambitious applicants through the door. According to the Times, around half of the engineers with the company play Valve’s beloved physics puzzle about autonomous bots gone haywire.
Perhaps, they’re recruiting with multiplayer partners in mind. After all, they’re offering a thousand dollars to anyone who plays the co-op level whose teammate gets hired.
To recreate a Portal-ified version of their facilities, the firm enlisted expert Portal 2 modder Doug Hoogland.
WibiData flew Mr. Hoogland to San Francisco to tour its offices and provided him with architectural renderings of the space so he could faithfully create a virtual version of it in the game. The finished product, available on the jobs section of WibiData’s site, requires players to enter each of the conference rooms in the company’s offices, then take an elevator down to a test chamber (which doesn’t exist in real life) and solve a series of puzzles before moving on to the next level.
Naturally, the disembodied, demented voice of GLaDOS, who strikes us a perfectly creepy and intimidating H.R. agent, takes the new recruits on the tour of the office space and ulterior layer, requiring them to complete five new chambers. The plot involves GLaDOS trying to poison the player with neurotoxin-laced oxygen, obviously.
This is quite possibly the most ingenious crossover between the gaming world and the business world ever. (Not that those happen too often, but, you know). I get the feeling that CEO Gabe Newell is on the phone about making this happen at Valve right now.
You’ll need a copy of Portal 2 on Steam to play the mod, and probably a degree in computer science to land the job.