In Watch Dogs, you play as Aiden Pierce, a rogue hacker in present-day Chicago trying to find his niece’s killer. Rather than spend your time in cyberspace, though, you have a smartphone that can control any machine in the world. In Watch Dogs’ vision of Chicago, you see, the Internet of Things is already complete. Every system has been connected to a centralized operating system, CTOS, which provides free citywide Wi-Fi, keeps the trains on time, and efficiently automates just about everything.
The downside, of course, is that privacy is at an all-time low. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, and the system uses facial recognition to profile anyone it spots at a moment’s notice. CTOS knows your name, how much money you make, your likes, dislikes, allergies, addictions, and plenty more. And as Aiden Pierce, you can have access to that same information about anyone you lay eyes on. There’s an app for that.
It doesn’t sound like much at first, but that information makes all the difference in the world. Suddenly, each non-player character is a person, with a name and a personality. Would you casually run over a single mother of two scraping by on a $22,000 income? How about a homeless war vet?
Not everyone has such a tragic backstory, of course, and I soon found myself a little richer after hacking a wealthy businesswoman. […]
The Verge, Sean Hollister: “‘Watch Dogs’ adds real guilt to fake killing.”