Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 videogame
Can we survive in a world where human soldiers are being turned into weapons? Why is whistleblowing important to exposing secret government plans? These questions and more are asked in the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 video gameActivision

The trailer for the latest Call of Duty video game has been launched and features current issues like the fears about technology running amok in the future, as well as mirroring the story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 video game, which has been developed over the last three years, tells the story of time in the future where a major intelligence leak has plunged the whole world into chaos.

A special black ops team of soldiers must go beyond enemy lines to uncover the truth, battling enemy soldiers with souped-up technological implants, autonomous military drones and humanoid robots fighting without human control in the process.

Call of Duty is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time and its developers seek to keep the first-person shooter fighting game relevant by roping in current affairs themes in each sequel released.

"We always have an eye out. We're reading the news articles. We're seeing what's happening," Jason Blundell, the game's campaign director and senior executive producer at game developer Treyarch told journalists at a press preview of the game trailer, according to Mashable.

"There's certain ideas that are obviously in the zeitgeist, you know, in popular culture. There's been leaks throughout history for as long as you want."

A whistleblower who looks like Snowden

Edward Snowden vs Call of Duty
Left: Edward Snowden Right: Actor playing whistleblower in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 "Ember" teaser trailerReuters and Activision

It's true that whistleblowing isn't a new concept, but other game footage shown at the preview shows that the developers are referring specifically to the NSA spying revelations, which have had governments up in arms with each other over covert spying of diplomatic cables as well as citizens' communications.

A female soldier character in the game says in the footage: "The information Taylor released helped the NRC target strategic weak points in the Egyptian military defences. They are gaining territory fast. Civilian casualties are high. Cairo's on the brink of total collapse."

The character Taylor is the whistleblower in the new Black Ops 3 game and if you look at the teaser trailer promo released on 23 April, you can see a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Snowden.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is clearly depicting the future as a scary place where no one can be trusted and technology isn't safe, but it's hard to tell at this point whether the Snowden-alike whistleblower has been portrayed as a hero or as a villain.

Will gamers understand why the revelations are important?

Snowden's revelations may have opened the world's eyes to the spying and intelligence gathering being perpetrated on regular people in the name of national security, and many citizens in various countries are up in arms, but there are also many people who either don't care or don't understand what is really going on.

A recent poll by comedian John Oliver for the satirical HBO news show Last Week Tonight found that many Americans are aware that Edward Snowden had done something wrong and should stand trial for his mistakes, but when it came down to what exactly he had done, the people polled didn't really know.

However, when told that the revelations meant that intelligence agencies and internet firms around the world could have access to their private nude photos, the people interviewed suddenly changed their stance and said that it was important that the government not be able to do this.

"I did this in order to give the American people a chance to decide for themselves the kind of government they want to have," Snowden told Oliver in an interview filmed in Russia. "It's difficult for most people to even conceptualise, because most of the internet is invisible."

As millions of gamers play the Call of Duty games, its hopeful that the game could convey some of the urgency and violation that citizens should feel about spying revelations, but considering that the details from the trailers point at secret weapons programmes and government-sanctioned quests to make soldiers into weapons rather than privacy and data surveillance, Snowden's messages might still be lost.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is released on 6 November 2015.