The game, Phone Story, designed by Italian company Molleindustria, looks at the ethical and environmental cost of producing gadgets like iPhones. The game takes the user through each step of a phone's manufacture, including the mining of coltan, a "conflict mineral" mined in Congo and found in all phones.
The company has previously taken on the Catholic church, McDonalds and "Big Oil" with games called Operation Pedopriest, McDonalds Video Game and Oiligarchy, according to Gamasutra.
Paolo Pedercini of Molleindustria told Gamasutra: "Most of the adults in the Western world are somewhat aware that most of our objects are manufactured far away, in conditions that we would consider barbaric."
"A lot of tech-aware people heard about the story of the Foxconn suicides or about the issue of electronic waste," he continued. "But with Phone Story, we wanted to connect all these aspects and present them in the larger frame of technological consumerism."
The game, which is still available on Molleindustria's website, does not solely target iPhones, but looks at the fetishisation of the devices in consumer electronics culture. Steps in the game include tossing newly boxed phones to buyers rushing into a store, mining for coltan and workers committing suicide at China's Foxconn factory due to overwork.
"We don't want people to stop buying smartphones," he notes, "but maybe we can make a little contribution in terms of shifting the perception of technological lust from cool to not-that-cool. This happened before with fur coats, diamonds, cigarettes and SUVs -- I can't see why it can't happen with iPads."Suggest a correction