Irony alert? Pocket Gamer reports that Apple has pulled Sweatshop, a satirical game designed to raise awareness about the inequities of forced labor, from its App Store because it was “uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop.” The technology giant, whose own Foxconn facility is routinely plagued by suicides, riots, and human-rights allegations, cited in-game references to clothing factory managers “blocking fire escapes,” “increasing work hours for labor,” and employing child labor as reasons why the game was unsuitable for sale, according to Simon Parkin, head of games at Littleloud, which created the game to highlight the human cost of fast fashion.
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MISSED THE POINT
“Littleloud amended the app to clarify that Sweatshop is a work of fiction and was created with the fact-checking input of charity Labour Behind the Label, and to emphasize that the game doesn’t force players to play the game in one way or another,” Parkin said. “Rather, Sweatshop is a sympathetic examination of the pressures that all participants in the sweatshop system endure.”
He added: “Sadly, these clarifications and changes weren’t enough to see the game reinstated for sale.”
You can still play a Flash-based version of the game for free at the Sweatshop website.