Apple bans iPhone game for tackling Foxconn suicides

Removed less than an hour after release

Apple bans iPhone game for tackling Foxconn suicides

An iPhone game that imagines "the spiritual afterlife" of overworked electronics labourers has been removed from the App Store.

In a Permanent Save State, by Benjamin Poynter, alludes to the suicides of workers at the Foxconn manufacturing plants in China, where many gadgets are made - including iPhones and iPads.

These suicides led to severe scrutiny of the plant's employment practices, both by the media and by its clients.

The game is a visually arresting and surreal take on the story. It appeared on the App Store on Friday morning, only to be removed less than an hour later.

It's not yet clear which part of Apple's guidelines were supposedly breached, but the likely suspects are those which ban depictions that "solely target...a real government or corporation" (15.3) or feature "objectionable content"(16.1).

Poynter said that despite never mentioning Foxconn directly in the app, he suspected that the game would be banned.

Apple is no stranger to removing apps it has deemed controversial, including Phone Story: another look at the ethical problems surrounding electronics manufacturing.

The Verge
Jeremy Thackray
Jeremy Thackray
After spending three years being told how brilliant literature is, Jeremy occasionally gets confused between games and worthy old novels. He is eagerly anticipating Nintendo's collaboration with Tolstoy on Super War and Peace Land.