Phone Story is a game for smartphone devices that attempts to provoke a critical reflection on its own technological platform. 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.
Like most electronic gadgets, this phone was assembled in China, inside a factory as big as a city. The people working there are constantly subjected to abuse and discrimination. They work in inhumane condition and are forced into illegal overtime. Over the span of a few months, more than twenty workers committed suicide out of extreme desperation.
Many young workers at Apple’s supplier factory in Shenzhen, China committed suicide. The cause? Working as long as 36 hours nonstop without overtime pay, earning poverty wages, facing humiliation by company managers and being denied independent union representation.
Phone Story was pulled from the iTunes App Store on Tuesday September 13 at 11.35am, only few hours after its official announcement.