A video game with a protagonist who controls the world around him by hacking into systems is generating growing buzz, for its eerie parallels with the current storm about US surveillance. Games typically use weapons ranging from guns and swords to zappers to special powers to defeat enemies, overcome obstacles or simply score points, and hundreds are on display at the E3 gaming industry conference in Los Angeles. But in “Watch Dogs”, the player-controlled anti-hero can access everything from the cellphone conversations and medical records of passers-by to computers which control traffic lights, to advance through the game. “We knew we had a relevant topic,” Canadian Ubisoft developer Dominic Guay told AFP, recalling how he arrived ahead of the gaming mega-gathering this week, and checked into his hotel. “I turned on CNN, and the first sentence I heard was ‘invasion of privacy’, switched channel and on Fox they were like, ‘surveillance’, and I said to my creative director, ‘Those are all our key words.'” Ubisoft, the French company behind top gaming titles including “Assassin’s Creed” and “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time”, showed off “Watch Dogs” on Monday, at a pre-E3 press conference in a downtown LA hotel. Set in…
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