So a while back I discovered a little Android App called Phone Story, from one of my all time favorite companies, Molle Industria. This is the studio that brought us the brilliant McDonalds Game, amongst other gems.
Phone Story is a win in a lot of ways. Besides its messages, which Molle is known for in its internal projects, the combination of different narrative formats is at once ingenius and offputting.
The app greets you by literally turning your phone into an animated character with a face that begins to talk to you about itself, very meta and an awesome idea in and of itself. The phone in a way, transforms into a handheld character. In this case fully, scripted, but imagine if Apple had applied a visual design for Siri? Maybe its coming one piece at a time, but eventually it would not surprise me if we began relating to our mobile devices via voice and touch as virtual people.
Phone Story is essentially a series of mini games interspersed with this phone character narrative to inform the user about the inherent evils in the current ecosystem of electronic consumption and waste.
While the games themselves may not be as deep or effective at hammering home the messages contained within, I LOVE the playing with multiple narrative mechanics. Add in the fact the story is all about the phone, and the result is a brilliant approach to serving up a message based entertainment experience.
Its is worthy to note that Phone Story was banned from the iOS app store, and its easy to see why. This may only further reinforce the reputation of Apple in regards to their relationship with producers and consumers, as so well documented by This American Life covering Mike Daisey that I previously linked to.
I hope we see more apps like this, and can change the ewaste ecosystem for the better.
More about Phone Story on Molle Industrias site.