Ubisoft's Watch Dogs couldn't be more topical and timely than at this very moment. With the revelation that the NSA is allegedly collecting data from our Internet activity on sites like Google and Facebook and tracking the data of Americans' mobile phones, Watch Dogs is like this generation's cautionary tale on government tyranny (think 1984 or Fahrenheit 451). Speaking to Watch Dogs lead game designer Danny Belanger, The Verge solicits the designer's thoughts on PRISM and about the ramifications of such government surveillance.
On PRISM he says that reality is finally catching up with the fantasy:
"It's like reality is catching up to the game."
On data collection in general, Belanger says that companies are already scooping up all kinds of data and using it for a variety of purposes:
"Data collection is immensely powerful, and most of the big internet giants track it and use it," he suggests. "They can predict who you're going to vote for and predict the kind of person you are… and maybe try to influence that."
Belanger says that Watch Dogs is about asking ourselves the moral questions that arise when faced with the reality of living a connected life and having that information out there to be collected by someone. And while Belanger admits that Aiden's (the cellphone-wielding protagonist in the game) ability to manipulate the environment via hacking into a computer network isn't realistic, it's in the pipeline:
"The smart city isn't there yet," he says. "But it's coming."
Source: The Verge