Ali-A, Vikram Barn, and more had their channels “hacked” as part of a campaign to teach young people basic programming skills.
Ali-A, Vikram Barn, Josh Bradley, Ashley Marie, Josh Temple, and Olly Ryan recently took part in a month-long campaign with Mattessons to encourage young people to learn basic coding, with many earning a qualification in programming language Python.
On 27 September, the six gamers had mysterious videos uploaded to their channels, purporting to be from a hacker named CTR_LL. In the video, the hacker gloats about his takeover of the channels, and claims to have also stolen their gamertags.
These videos went live for a short time before being deleted and replaced with a video of each YouTuber examining the video and making guesses as to CTR_LL’s motives, while “confirming” that the hacker still had control of their gaming accounts. Viewers were encouraged to help solve the issue, using the hashtag #HuntTheHacker.
Clues in the video, and those tweeted out by the gamers, led to an online game presented as a direct connection into the hacker’s computer terminal. Players were encouraged to complete tasks to defeat CTR_LL and prevent any further attacks, which taught them basic skills in the Python coding language.
— Vikkstar123 ★ (@Vikkstar123) September 30, 2016
In total, the videos for the campaign gained over 13 million video views, and led to over 24,000 13-to-17-year-olds completing one or more challenges. Those who completed all the tasks earned a Level One Coding Certificate in Python.
Mattessons’ Senior Brand Manager Hayley Murgett was pleased to have been able to work with YouTube gaming community to encourage young people to learn new skills, stating: “This winning combination of gaming and learning has clearly proven popular, so we hope this campaign could inspire a new genre of gamer-fied learning in the curriculum.”
Twenty five YouTubers from around the world took part in a charity Christmas single this year to raise money for Make-A-Wish! Alternatively, read about the YouTube creators who supported National HIV Testing Week.