Videogames can also be a way for cultural expression. What Molleindustria does is to use Serious Games in an artistic, ironic way to shake our heads and make us think about the things happening around us. Phone Story is a serious game you can buy for your smartphone that criticizes the whole chain of smartphone production, considering them as the ultimate capitalist expression for our crazy spending habits.
In Phone Story you will travel around the stages of the production chain of your smartphone: coltan mines from which children obtain the mineral, Chinese factories where the phone is assembled, the selling point where people go to buy the brand new product that completely fits their lifestyles, the recycling plants for ‘old’ products… And so on. The spiral never ends and the game stops if you try to boycott the cycle: “don’t try to stop progress” is the warning you will receive.
You will find that this Serious Games’ (as well as other serious games of this developer) arcade mechanics are used as a way to speak ironically about this questions. ‘How dare they make a game about this?’… Well, that’s a good way for shaking minds. As you use your smartphone to play this serious game, you can’t avoid feeling guilty and thinking about making your smartphone last as long as possible. Maybe this is one of the most rebellious acts that most of the people are able to commit these days.