Yesterday’s New York Times story documenting Apple’s labor practices in China put a significant spotlight on an important ongoing issue. But what if you could experience what it’s like to be on the factory floor?
A new online strategy game called Sweatshop, developed by Littleloud, takes a seriously tounge-in-cheek approach to the issue by placing you on the floor of an offshore factory. You manage a floor of workers who tirelessly assemble hats, shirts, bags and shoes, all while juggling different elements that determine your profitability.
As the game progresses, you are presented with moral dilemmas about how well you should treat your workers versus how much money you can make. Is it OK to hire children? Should you give the workers water coolers and toilets? Is it worth putting up the cash for safety officer or is it OK if a few of your workers end up dead or injured on the floor?
While the game is cartoony and cute, it’s also smart and subversive. It tells you more about the treatment of offshore workers and child laborers. After you complete a level, the game tells you eye-popping facts provided by Labour Behind The Label, a nonprofit organization in the U.K. that advocates for worker’s rights.
Some key screenshots can be viewed below:
And you can watch a trailer for the game as well:
Hat tip: Ecouterre