According to the official Twitter of Ubisoft Entertainment’s Watch Dogs, the video game franchise is hinting at plans to feature the City of Camden (in some capacity) in Watch Dogs DLC — “DLC” standing for “downloadable content.”
“Our data indicates surveillance has become more prominent in high-crime areas,” the Watch Dogs Twitter account recently tweeted earlier this week. An image with texts was accompanied stating, “The city of Camden, New Jersey had the highest crime rate in 2012. A 24/7surveillance program is now in effect_”
Camden’s role in the upcoming game remains unclear, but considering Watch Dogs’ themes of information infiltration, crime and vigilante justice, it makes the fall sequel all the more eyebrow raising.
The storyline of Watch Dogs delves into the concept of how technology and information impacts society. It also questions the roles of gatekeepers, which explores those who control the technology society is dependent on.
Released in May of 2014, Watch Dogs was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft, one of the most renowned video game developers worldwide.
The game offers an open world action and adventure setting that’s played from the third-person perspective.
Gamers play as Northern Irish-American character, Aiden Pearce, a grey hat hacker who hacks into the centralized operating system that manages Chicago’s hyper connectivity. It controls security cameras, traffic lights, banks and etc.
In the story, Pearce loses his niece in an assassination attempt. He uses his skills in social engineering to fight crime through a life of vigilante to ultimately protect his family. It also portrays Pearce’s paranoia and obsession with security and surveillance.
The player controls Pearce’s ability to hack into all electronic devices tied to Chicago’s central operating system through his smartphone. As the street-savvy hacker, gamers hunt down the criminals that killed Pearce’s niece.
Many criticize the media’s portrayal of Camden City, but normally, it is directed toward mainstream news outlets. It is too early to speculate whether Watch Dogs will cross the line with its portrayal of Camden. But soon, it might beg the question as to whether there are certain lines that should not be crossed when art imitates life.