In the years since work be­gan on Watch Dogs, Wik­iLeaks has grown in promi­nence, Ed­ward Snow­den has be­come a house­hold name, and his rev­e­la­tions about the NSA’s PRISM pro­gramme taught the world to dis­trust those with whom they share their data. Watch Dogs’ theme was a pre­scient one in ret­ro­spect, and it will surely be a timely game on its re­lease. “I don’t think we came out with an agenda we wanted to put for­ward,” story de­signer Kevin Shortt says, “but ab­so­lutely I think we’ve al­ways looked at these things – tech­nol­ogy, how far and fast we’re go­ing with throw­ing ev­ery­thing on­line. And I think as we’ve been mak­ing the game, we’ve al­ways been shocked at how lit­tle pri­vacy we have. We’re not try­ing to come out with a hard les­son for any­body, be­cause I think we’re still early in the curve for any­body to say this is where it’s all go­ing, but I think what we re­ally hope is that play­ers are go­ing to fin­ish the game and have con­ver­sa­tions with each other about it. We want play­ers to come away and think for them­selves about how they feel about where tech­nol­ogy is go­ing and where it’s tak­ing us. And I think it’s a bit of both. I would love to live in a smart city where ev­ery­thing runs more ef­fi­ciently, but I also am hy­per-aware of the risks that come with that. And I do worry about what that means for se­cu­rity – not just for a city or govern­ment, but for in­di­vid­u­als.”

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