Xbox Wants “Test Subjects” For Mysterious Games Experiment

Xbox Wants “Test Subjects” For Mysterious Games Experiment

Xbox Wants “Test Subjects” For Mysterious Games Experiment“We’re looking for volunteer test subjects for a research experiment related to a product to be released later this year.” So says official Xbox Australia blog, InsiderX. What on earth could they mean?

The post in full reads:

No joke. We’re looking for volunteer test subjects for a research experiment related to a product to be released later this year. We’re conducting an independent study during which you and the product will be evaluated formally using scientific methods in a controlled environment.

Candidate requirements:

* You must be in NSW (or willing to get yourself there) * You must have a clean bill of health * You must be at least 18 * You must be available 19th April 6pm – 11pm * Previous experience playing videogames preferred

Let’s do some sleuthing.

1. A product released later this year? Halo Reach? Project Natal?

2. In NSW? Well, that’s where Microsoft and thus Xbox HQ is located. But that might not mean anything.

3. Clean bill of health? Perhaps you’ll need to be moving around a lot… sounds like Natal to me.

4. At least 18? Sounds like there’ll be alcohol present. Which doesn’t sound like Natal to me.

5. Evening of April 19? This is where it gets interesting. I’ve been invited to a media event for an Xbox 360 game earlier that day. It’s neither Natal nor Halo. (Nor Crackdown 2.) You’d have to be asleep to not work out which game I’m talking about.

6. Lastly, if you click the link to register, it asks you to “submit ten words that best describe your personality.”

OK, my guess is Alan Wake. And Xbox are theming this event as some of psychological test. Curious.

Who’s registering to find out?

Test Subjects Wanted [InsiderX]


  • GOD DAMN IT… why is are all the things i want to do interstate… This, Mana Bar, Kevin Rudd….

    … um… forget the last one..

  • I totally would if I didnt work full time live in QLD and have an expectant wife.

    Alan Wake is one Ive been waiting for.

    Funny thing when I was unemployed I could have done this, but never would have found out because I didnt have net access…

  • Just sent my application. Man I want to be involved… but I have no idea why!

    I will let you know what happens. Interestingly, in the T&C, there are 2 prizes listed as $500 each to be won? Interesting tid bit?

    Maybe we each get a Natal unit??? (lol)

  • Woo hoo. Looks like next monday is going to be a corker for a number of us. Just got to keep those fingers crossed that the 10 words I used were enough to put my name in the hat.

    • Yeah, 10 words is tough.

      I am 28 so that is 1 word for every 3 years. Not much…

      1-3 year – Poo
      3-6 years – Thomas
      6-9 years – Girls (Yuck)
      9-12 years – Girls (Mmmmmm)
      12-15 years – Puberty
      15-18 years – Drinking
      18-21 years – Drinking
      21-23 years – Work
      23-26 years – Wife
      26-28 years – Kid (See above)

  • The 18 years or older point might strictly be a legal issue. If they are properly running it as research (compared to a PR stunt), no doubt there will be a series of legal forms and permissions to be carried out. Obtaining parental permission is not difficult, but more difficult than just using adults, particularly if you really just want to research on adults.

    Furthermore, the Microsoft employees running the research might have to obtain Working with Children cards if they used under-18s. From my experience, obtaining one of these was harder than getting my passport. It’s something to be avoided if you can.

    Of course, if you have a bunch of adults in a room together, alcohol is often used to get people to unwind. It depends how seriously Microsoft wish to take this.

    • It could also be about making confidentiality contracts binding. If they’re being so candid about the product being tested, then they may not want people talking about the experiments.
      I’m curious as to why they’re doing it in Australia.

    • Also, if its in NSW then its going to be in North Ryde, near the freeway in Lane Cove. Getting a bus there is going to be a bitch.

      • I know what you mean, I went there for the Halo wars preview and using Sydney’s ever so helpful transport website I ended up on the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere.

      • We can have a competition!
        The who-lives-close-but-still-manages-to-get-there-the-slowest competition! A 20 minute drive (assuming you have a car) vs the infinitely long bus ride. Also, late night public transport just makes it even better.

        That said though, haven’t they upgraded most of the bus-related facilities around there? I try to avoid it like the plague if I’m driving to the city, but when I did pass by last time, there were bus lanes and shiny new bus stops. I can’t say anything about the timetable, but it looked decent enough.

        • My concern also is the commute. CBD worker but live in Campbelltown (Rosemeadow) so 1.5 hour commute is normal. Not really looking to do that at 11pm though! I think i’d drive also.

  • From the terms and conditions:
    “The best entries will win access to the Xbox 360 research experiment to be held on the 19th April 2010. Total number of prizes = 2. Total prize value = $500.”
    “You do not have any health concerns that will in any way preclude you from participating in the Prize, or affect your participation in the Prize, including epilepsy. You understand that Microsoft may request that you will undertake a health check with a qualified medical practitioner prior to accepting the Prize, at Microsoft’s discretion.”

    That doesn’t sound like a big launch event to me that everybody is going to get to attend. Rather, it sounds only 2 people playing natal in front of some scientists and media, possibly to get a head start promoting the wii-fit-style health benefits.

    I’d gladly be wrong though, because big launch events are fun 🙂

    • Since $500 totals up to around the price of an 360, a game or two (i.e. whatever they’re promoting) and perhaps, some accessories, that’s what I’m imagining is being offered. I’m also going to guess they wouldn’t only invite two people to an event at 6pm and goes for five hours, so chances are there’ll be two ‘major’ winners and the rest will just get to tag along and envy them while playing a few games.

      HOWEVER, since this was posted on an xbox-specific site, they’re probably assuming their readers already have 360s, so there’s a good chance I’m completely wrong.

      Either way, this definitely has me curious, and I’m on a break that week, so I’ll give it a shot.

  • Plot thickens. There is an invite only dinner for 10+ people to play Alan wake on Tuesday night… see Insiderx.

  • Well, applications closed at 1pm Friday and you were supposed to be advised by Friday. I assume I didn’t make the cut but did you? Let us know if you got selected… I want to know what is going on!

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