Posted on October 17, 2012 AT 01:29pm
Electronics are expensive, aren’t they? When you stop and think about it, a new smartphone will run you anywhere between $600 – $800, the same with a new tablet, and we are told that they are very pricy to produce. The same can be said for game consoles, like the stories of the Xbox 360 costing more to produce than it was being sold for at launch. This is the line of reasoning that we, the consumers, are fed on a regular basis, and why we pay a premium price for what have become everyday electronics that we apparently cannot live without. When it became clear that the working conditions at Foxconn, the company responsible for production of many of those hot new gadgets we all love; iPods, iPads, iPhones, etc., consumers were given a choice and they continued to purchase them. It isn’t just Apple, either, as Samsung and Microsoft have also been outed as using them to help with their telecom products.
How would the gaming community feel if one of their most beloved brands, heralded for innovation and the childlike innocence associated with the brand, was using Foxconn? Hold that thought, then, how would the gaming community feel knowing that not only were those working conditions, low pay and what most would consider slave labor used to produce Nintendo products, how about if it included child labor? That could very well be a reality we are facing right now, sadly. It has been outed that Nintendo has employed internationally-notorious Foxconn to assemble their next-gen console which is launching in less-than-a-month. Of course, it comes out around the same time that Foxconn was outed for using “child interns” aged from about 14 – 16 to work 12 hour shifts in some of their factories for “school credits” and threatened to be penalized or even expelled from school if they didn’t work.
Nintendo’s name and the Wii U were explicitly stated in the Chinese press, and while Foxconn has responded confirming that it is indeed illegal, they are denying that they had any knowledge of the illegal activity and would halt it, immediately. I guess the question is, if this pans out to be true, do gamers shrug and buy the Wii U anyway, or are gamers more socially conscious than your average consumer?
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