September 12, 2011
Corporate Personhood, Environment, Human Rights
How would you like to force children to mine precious metals, save suicidal workers from jumping to their deaths so they can labor another day, or find the cheapest way to dispose of mountains of e-waste—all while keeping productivity up so you can toss shiny trinkets to adoring consumers?
Each of the levels of “Phone Story,” the iPhone app from Molleindustria (with some help from the Yes Lab), contains a mini-game exploring a different problem in the consumer electronics supply chain. Players of the first anti-iPhone iPhone game are placed in the digital shoes of forces within the lifespan of a smartphone—from Coltan mines in the Congo to e-waste facilities all over the developing world. It’s a simplified virtual tour of a world that doesn’t want to be changed.
Phone Story was released in the iTunes store, but Apple pulled it a few hour later, citing bizarre excuses like the “depiction of child abuse.” If you see the game you’ll see how funny that excuse really is. And luckily, you can see the game again now, because the designers adapted it overnight and released it for Android. All revenues of the new anti-iPhone and anti-Android app will go directly to organizations helping to put a stop to the horrors that smartphone production causes. And meanwhile, Apple’s action to suppress the content of this game became yet another an object-lesson in censorship that resulted in lots of media attention like this.
Read the release announcement here.