AKQA has developed a unique online campaign to promote Ubisoft's upcoming multi-platform, open-world action adventure game, Watch Dogs. The campaign aims to explore how technology can expose data by creating a digital footprint from public (and yet supposedly personal) statistics, available through social networking. The agency has set up a website called 'Digital Shadow', which allows users to log in to the site with their Facebook profile and see what their 'digital imprint' says about them.
The campaign aims to explore how technology can expose data by creating a digital footprint
It uses information such as who you interact with most on Facebook (it refers to these people as 'pawns'), the people you interact with who don't interact back (your 'obsessions') and the opposite (your 'stalkers') to create a personalised dossier on you. It uses this dossier to estimate each user's net work, where they might be expected to spend their time and even what their passwords are likely to be. It does this by reading through your posts to determine your most commonly used words, where you have been most often, and your personal preferences. It will also give information regarding how organisations might (theoretically of course) be able to exploit this information.
It's an undeniably clever and disturbing idea, which perfectly syncs with the game's world, and is just the latest bespoke digital campaign launched by AKQA, which shows the agency are not shy in moving with the times. AKQA account director Ed Davis, who is the account leader on Digital Shadows, has said that the campaign “Shows the darker side and the dangers when a malicious organisation or government gets hold of your personal information.”
Digital Shadow is just the latest bespoke digital campaign launched by AKQA
In the game, which is set to be released on all major platforms (including next generation consoles) on the 27th of May, player take the role of rogue hacker Aiden Pearce, who exploits the interconnected nature of the future Chicago to manipulate the city to his advantage. Gameplay wise it looks set to be an amalgamation between Ubisoft's own Assassin's Creed games and the wildly successful Grand Theft Auto franchise. The game was set to be released last November, but was pushed back to Q1 2014 for fine-tuning, before being announced for a May launch last month. It is one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, and AKQA's campaign will surely only add to the level of hype surrounding the not-so far-fetched science-fiction adventure.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer, musician and PS4 owner, who has had Watch Dogs pre-ordered for almost a year now. May the 27th can't possibly arrive soon enough!