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iPhone game to benefit Foxconn employee who attempted suicide


Tian Yu, the Foxconn employee that survived a suicide attempt.

In addition to conveying information about the suicides that have plagued the Foxconn factory in which the iPhone is assembled (among many other electronic consumer goods), now proceeds from the game "Phone Story" are going directly to one worker who sustained injuries after a failed attempt.

Kotaku reports on the game's makers plan to donate its profits to Tian Yu. A former employee of Foxconn, Yu attempted suicide in 2010 and suffered permanent spine and hip injuries when she jumped from the Foxconn's factory complex. They will be giving her $6,000.

The game by Molleindustria also gets into the mining of raw materials in the Congo, how consumers go crazy for the final product, and its eventual fate of becoming eWaste once it's yesterday news. It's a cautionary tale that Apple was not too pleased with — it eventually pulled the game from the App Store. It later reappeared on Android devices, along with desktop and web versions.

The game's trailer details all the modes and the messages makers attempt to convey:

Molleindustria hoped for greater earnings. It was only in the App Store for three hours before Apple pulled the plug. There have been no such issues with the Android version, but the fragmented Android Marketplace has been a challenge, despite critical praise for the title.

As they explain on the Phone Story website:

We thought: $6000 won't do that much to an organization but they could be significant for an individual who used to earn about $130 a month. So we made Tian Yu the recipient of our first donation.

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Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.