Sometimes the online world reveals unsuspected parallel dimensions. This is an unknown restyle of Neural independently (and secretly as we never knew about it) made by NY-based Motion and Graphic Designer, Clarke Blackham. Very nicely made, perhaps only a bit glossier for the magazine’s line, it testifies once more how even your most familiar outcomes can have another life somewhere else.
Phone Storyis a new game by Molleindustria for Android and iPhone (available for Android but already banned by Apple and deleted from the Appstore, because it was charged with violent content and non-compliance with the technical requirements). The player has to cross four stages that represent some of the production steps that provide the high-tech industries worldwide. “Coltan” is the phase in which minerals needed for the construction of the hardware components are extracted, for which minors are used and exploited in the Congo. In “Suicides” the task is saving the workers who try to commit suicide from the roof of the factory where they work because of their poor working conditions (Chinese assembly factories count a very high suicide rate; the case of Foxconn is emblematic). In “Obsolescence” it is time to fight against the conformism and the rapid obsolescence of the devices induced only by marketing strategies. Finally”Waste” focuses on the thorny issue of recycling and proper disposal of electronic waste that is highly toxic. The impact of the game is also in its brilliant “non-business model”: the percentage due to Molleindustria for each Phone Story (70%) is devolved to non-profit institutions involved in fighting the horrors that happen in the game (donated to SACOM “Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior”). In this way, the operation breaks a risky vicious circle: making money on applications that criticize the platform for which they have been made, falling into the same mechanism that you want to attack. After playing with the aim of reducing suicide attempts of pixelated men using a phone these dead men “helped” to build, the player is likely to start questioning whether the device is in fact the same supercool gadget we all need and desire so much.