Proceeds From Banned Foxconn iPhone Game Given To Foxconn Employee Who Attempted Suicide

Proceeds From Banned Foxconn iPhone Game Given To Foxconn Employee Who Attempted Suicide

Molleindustria’s critical protest game Phone Story was designed to achieve two ends: to raise consumer awareness of the conditions under which smartphones like the iPhone are produced, and to help serve as a fundraising tool.

The game, originally released for iPhone last September, traces the life of a modern mobile handheld device. It starts with coltan mining in the Congo, carries through to production in a Chinese factory, and wraps up with marketing and planned obsolescence. As we reported last year, Apple pulled the title from its App Store almost immediately after launch. Phone Story has since been made available to play on the web.

In a recent update statement, Molleindustria has announced where the money from Phone Story is now going. Although they were unable to generate as many sales as they had hoped, they have earned approximately $US6000 to date and plan to donate it to a former Foxconn employee who sustained significant injuries after a suicide attempt. They write:

Despite the positive reviews and the wide media coverage, the amount of money we were able to collect from sales and artist fees (the art organisations who exhibited the game) was humbling, a little more than $US6000 – see details below.

Then we came across the tragic story of Tian Yu, a girl who suffered from serious injuries after trying to commit suicide by jumping from the Foxconn’s factory complex where she was working in 2010. She was 17 years old at the time.

We thought: $US6000 won’t do that much to an organisation but they could be significant for an individual who used to earn about $US130 a month. So we made Tian Yu the recipient of our first donation.

Tian Yu suffered significant permanent spine and hip injuries as a result of her four-storey fall and is now paralysed from the waist down. Meanwhile, worker conditions at Foxconn’s Chinese plants remain an active concern as we continue into 2012.

Phone Story Revenues Donated To Former Foxconn Worker Who Attempted Suicide [Official page]


          • Face it, she got paid for committing suicide.

            If I was a person who thought the people of foxconn were being hard done by. Then the money would do a lot more ‘good’ if it was going to people who were actually trying to make a difference (protesters, lawyers or some kind of fund). Not to a person who gave up on life.

          • I give your trolling attempt a 6/10. Good choice of subject matter, and admirable persistance, but too obvious.

    • Honestly mate, I know the point you are trying to make, and it does have some merits, but you are presenting it in a terrible manner.

      • Sorry Jordaan, suicide is something i will never respect. It’s the lowest form of giving up. It should never be honored and only condemned.

        • I absolutely recognise the legitimacy of your viewpoint.
          However, this is a charity donation.
          It’s not about honour, it’s about sympathy/empathy. Most of the offence being taken by other commenters is due to the lack sympathy/empathy on display in your comment.
          While in most cases suicide is a selfish act, in many cases over in these factories, there are no family or friends to mourn you, no foreseeable bright future to work towards, there is no reason to endure. In such a case, it is understandable one would consider suicide an option.

  • “Meanwhile, worker conditions at Foxconn’s Chinese plants remain an active concern as we continue into 2012.”

    True but I’ve always been more concerned by the pathetic apathy the West has for the Congo. Ever since the Belgians colonised the place it’s been hit hard by imperialism and the modern era has been the most tragic. Millions dead so Western companies can mine minerals at gunpoint rather then on salaries.

    And the region, which with it’s neighbours has fought so hard for peace and stability is still not settled. So please keep this in mind any time anyone you know buys a new phone or laptop.

    • Exactly. If we aren’t bombarded with an issue by the media organisations we just don’t care.

      For my part I persist with my oldskool Nokia. At least until mining practices in the Congo are better regulated … i.e. when the media picks up that people are starting to care and so starts shouting at us about it .. until the governments/corporations decide people must care.

  • What possible benefit could one derive from trivializing the lives of these people to the extent where they release a patronizing, disturbing piece of sh*t game like that and then donate the proceeds in such a pious, benevolent fashion. F*cking insulting.

    Why would one be so warped as to attempt to raise awareness via a medium such as a smartphone game. SMARTPHONES ARE INHUMANE SO PLAY THIS GAME ON YOUR SMARTPHONE.

    This really rubs me up the wrong way. If you want to make a difference then get out there and make a fucking difference. Don’t pay for shit game designed to instill guilt, designed by people with little experience in the atrocities that they depict.

    FThis isn’t the way to help people. This is pure ego.

  • I have no problem with using a medium to critique it, yet I can see how it would come off as hypocritical. Fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of millions of smartphones out there, so what’s wrong with raising a little awareness to people using these devices and taking them for granted?

    • it trivializes the issue rather than aiding it. It turns genuine suffering into a game. It’s worse than Medal of Honour depicting Taliban fighters. The common consensus is that you cannot put a price on a human life. I wonder if the developers actually went to the Congo? Or to Foxconn?

      Or did they sit there in a comfy chair and say to themself “oh how horrid!” Let’s make a game – a video game to help these people.

      I agree that raising awareness is of vital importance. The problem, the insult here is that the developers have depicted real and genuine human misery from a pious and ultimately Western perspective for virtually no gain whatsoever. It won’t be a memorable piece of software. It won’t achieve anything that it supposedly intends to do.

      BTW -max respect to Kotaku for actually publishing my expletive ridden comment. Insppite of the hilarious editing, I appreciate it.

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