This morning, I came across an app that intrigued me because of its unusual title, bizarre App Store description and surreal artwork. After downloading the game, it became clear that this was more than just a unique new game with a dark twist. It pays homage to seven workers who took their own lives in an unnamed electronics factory in China.
The description reads that it is a “cerebral, fantasy driven application about events that are true and currently exist.” It goes on to explain that the narrative sheds perspective on the “Western spectacle vs. the Eastern dream.” It is definitely an artistic impression of the tragedies at Foxconn in the past few years.
Within an hour of its release in the App Store, Apple pulled this dark, but powerful app. Obviously, the tech giant had reasons to take this app out of commission. The story never uses names of workers or even the factory, but it is clear that the developer spent a lot of time and painstaking detail to create something that he or she was very passionate about, which is a belief that factory workers in certain electronics plants suffer abuse, indignities, and overall inhuman treatment.
Each story that is represented in this app tells of a worker who suffered in one sense or another due to factory conditions. There is a short animation where you as the “gamer” must help the worker transition from death into an afterlife. However, certain obstacles keep you from your destination.
The app is visually stunning and nothing less than impressive for its artistic interpretation of real events combined with impassioned ideologies. I don’t blame Apple one bit for pulling it simply because the content makes the company’s supply partners look bad, but it is a tragedy in itself that very few people will ever get to see this app.
I feel lucky and honored to have been able to download In A Permanent Save State before it was lost forever.
Watch the video below to see the beautiful, but dark story that unfolds in this unique and powerful app.