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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Video Games Kill Kids in the Congo

In a recent article on Yahoo Games I read about how certain components in Sony's PS2/3 and other electronics devices directly led to a rare metal becoming scarce and driving third world dictatorships, like the Congo, to use Slave and child labor to mine the material.

I had never heard of the metal before, but apparently when the PS2 was really in demand Sony was having a hard time getting enough of an "unrefined metallic ore, coltan." After processing, coltan turns into a powder called tantalum. Still have never heard of it, but apparently demand drove the price of this stuff from $49/pound to over $250! You know how the dictators like their money, so "Leave the Blood Diamonds, and mine the Blood Diamond Pokemon!"

I am not trying to draw a conclusion here about video games at all. My real point is how much we have in the civilized world, and how much we take for granted. How many other product issues out their like this where a popular product (which could never be afforded there BTW!) Are being built at the expense of others...I have inspected factories in China, I will tell you...lots!

I often wondered what a person must think about people far away that spend more then they may ever make on...plastic! That they paint or process everyday!

To sum it all up, it is easy to focus on the hardships we can have here (see yesterday's post!). But for the most part our toughest day is way better than most ever achieve!

Take advantage of this bounty!


Anonymous said...

funny - i just linked to that article today too.

i first heard about this issue a few years ago - i'm trying to hunt down the article. apparently, the metal is also used in cell phones, laptops, etc...

RacerX said...

It really struck me too. It is hard to remember that everything we use, doesn't come from some Star Trek replicator, but it is dug out of the earth, worked and then shipped...a bit of the Butterfly Effect...(not the horrid movie)

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