Posted by: Tha Square | August 2, 2008

Video Game Components Might Be African “Blood Diamonds”

We all know video game consoles are partially made with metal. Duh, right? But did you know some of these items may help fund African slave labor and battles over mineral rights? A certain ore, named coltan, is used after being ground into its powder form to build necessary equipment in consoles.

The demand for this mineral has been high over the past decade. Since 1999 (at least), Sony drove the demand for it through the roof with the launch of the PlayStation 2. They drastically increased the intake of coltan when they couldn’t keep up with their new gaming system popular demands. Price for the ore rose from $49 per pound to over $250 per pound and forced labor became evermore prevalent. The once British Parliament Member, Oona King, put the situation rather bluntly:

“Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms”

Who knows who else is responsible for the spike in this ores’ popularity but I can probably name a dozen suspects off the top of my head. It’s a shame that any company would knowingly accept anything from this type of labor but it probably happens daily.



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