Radical Gamedesign II
In my previous post on Radical Gamedesign, I featured a video about a Gamedesign encounter with Paolo Pedercini of La Molleindustria at Spielesalon Kassel. At the event, Pedercini also presented a prototype of his new project PHONE STORY, which has now been released. At least it was released for 2 hours earlier today ...
PHONE STORY is officially promoted as "an educational game about the hidden social costs of smartphone manufacturing". But in plain words the game is an anti-iPhone game for the iPhone. So it is not surprising that Apple has banned the game from the Appstore shortly after its official release.
I was quick and got to download one of the "rare" copies. Here´s the full report.
PHONE STORY (Attention: Spoiler)
When launching the game, the screen turns into a face and introduces itself to you as YOUR PHONE.
In the typical La-Molleindustria-style, the message is rather taught with the sarcastic hammer than in between the lines. Throughout a variety of simple minigames that are presented, the voice of your phone keeps on encouraging you to "meet the goal". Evil, huh? It´s not that simple.
While you try to be good and enhance your skills, you are being taught about the social costs of you current behavior in detail. After having successfully passed the mission, you are forwarded to the obsolescence mode where you compete in an endless spiral with market forces.
The gameplay is neat and well designed but most of all it´s the idea behind the game that captivates. A great game to make the perversion of turbo capitalism actually touchable - in a double sense.
The release and un-release might have the potential to open a discourse. And I think that is what La Molleindustria is striving for. Beyond the Radical Gamedesign of PHONE STORY the "real" game starts off now that the app has been unreleased again. Unlike the game itself this meta-game remains accessible to everyone.
At CGL Katharina Tillmanns is Head of Public Relations and Funding and has been organizing major events such as The Global Game Jam Cologne 2010-2012 and the NOTGAMES FEST 2011. Since graduating from filmschool she has been working as a freelance film director, videojournalist and producer for linear and interactive media. Today she is a student in the MasterÂ´s program Game Development and Research at CGL.