Phone Story

Phone Story is an “educational game” by Molleindustria for iOS that follows the manufacture of the iPhone around the world, depicting violent and inhumane work conditions in its production. From the Phone Story Web page:

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.
Keep Phone Story on your device as a reminder of your impact. All of the revenues raised go directly to workers' organizations and other non-profits that are working to stop the horrors represented in the game.

The game was banned from the app store two hours after its release, with Apple citing “excessively objectionable or crude content” and “[depiction of] violence or abuse of children” as well as objections to the ability to make donations to charities, which is only permitted in a free app.

Without being able to play, it’s difficult to assess on the quality of Phone Story as a political game. Super Columbine Massacre, for example, had an interesting political message that took advantage of agency and the player-avatar relationship to connect players to the protagonist. It would be interesting to see if and how Phone Story uses this relationship to convey their political message. This may be something we see more of in the future.