IOS game tackles iPhone manufacture ethics

IOS game tackles iPhone manufacture ethics
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

September 13th 2011 at 3:59PM

Phone Story draws attention to apparent slavery, suicide and eWaste in manufacturing

Italian developer Molleindustria has created an iOS game that has been designed to shed light on the allegedly questionable practices that many claim are too prevalent in the manufacturing of numerous electronic devices such as the iPhone.

The game, named Phone Story, explores ideas its creators claim are related - indirectly or otherwise - to the iPhone's manufacture, including the enslavement of workers in the Congo mining electronic components mineral coltan, the mistreatment of assembly line workers, and the toxic nature of disposing of smartphones.

Its claims are made without substantiating evidence.

The game also criticises 'planned obsolescence'; a factor that could be seen as exaggerating existing problems associated with electronic device manufacturing.

"Phone Story is a game for smartphone devices that attempts to provoke a critical reflection on its own technological platform," reads a statement on the game's website.

"Under the shiny surface of our electronic gadgets, behind its polished interface, hides the product of a troubling supply chain that stretches across the globe.

"Phone Story represents this process with four educational games that make the player symbolically complicit in coltan extraction in Congo, outsourced labor in China, e-waste in Pakistan and gadget consumerism in the West."

Molleindustria will receive 70 per cent of the revenues from the game's app store sales, which it will redirect to the organisations that fight corporate abuses.