A dark and comedic strategy game about offshore manufacturing.
Through a series of thirty challenging levels players must balance the unreasonable demands of Boss, the temperamental factory owner and Boy, a gentle, hard-working child labourer. Together, the team must work to make the factory a roaring success supplying clothes to their ever-demanding retail clients.
The game presents a series of moral dilemmas to the player, who must juggle the needs of clients with the welfare of workers. Should you hire a fire officer to prevent the risk of workers dying horribly in an industrial blaze or pack them in to get the job done? Should you train workers to make them more efficient and satisfied or fire them when they lose a limb in an industrial accident?
As the player journeys through the game, the story of the characters evolve and the sweatshop grows, moving into ever new larger premises with all the complications of management this entails. Ultimately, the player will be managing multiple ranges of clothing across huge labyrinthine conveyor belts, while trying to meet the ever-increasing demands of the disposable, fast-fashion industry.
Despite its light-hearted tone, Sweatshop offers an accurate picture of the lives of those who work in the system, from the lowly child workers who stitch together the clothes, all the way up to the Western client who places the orders, responding to the trends set by an image-obsessed celebrity culture. The game is littered with real facts about the fast fashion industry and aims to provoke teenagers into thinking about their fashion choices more carefully.
Funder: Channel 4 Education