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Group boycotts 3DS over human rights abuses (update)

8:34 AM on 02.27.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

[Update: Matt Brown, associate director of communications, has stated that the Enough Project does not sanction this boycott: We at Enough have never advocated for a boycott of electronics, so this is a misrepresentation of our views. We advocate strongly for people to use their electronic devices - cell phones, laptops, and video game systems -- to contact the makers of these electronics and tell them to make verifiably conflict-free products. The companies should do this through tracing, auditing, and certification.  Consumers can go to our website at www.raisehopeforcongo.org to lean more.]

A Facebook movement is getting a lot of attention for its plans to boycott the Nintendo 3DS. The group posits that the 3DS is made from "conflict mineral" -- material mined in the Congo by oppressed workers led by armed rebel groups. 

The scheme has been hatched by a representative of the Enough Project, a group dedicated to fighting human rights abuses and genocide. According to the spokesman, Nintendo is "allowing people to die and suffer grave human rights abuses for the sake of video game console production."

"What I am asking you to do is to refuse to buy a Nintendo 3DS system until Nintendo announces plans to halt use of conflict minerals in production -- and this can only happen through monitoring of trade systems," states the group. "I am not in any way opposed to the 3DS itself -- I actually think it's one of the coolest things I've never seen in person. But I am not going to be one of the millions who looks the other way purely for entertainment, and I hope you will join me."

It seems that quite a few gamers who joined the group aren't exactly steadfast comrades, having answered the call with vitriolic rejoinders: "Sure, whining like a faggot is cool and all, but seriously. Get the sticks out of your asses, kiddo', a few lost sales isn't going to do Nintendo any."

Seems weird to me that the 3DS is being picked on when there are likely thousands of things that could be accused, but I guess it's all about what gets attention. What about you? Do you agree that Nintendo should be punished for possibly funding human rights abuse? Or do you accept this as a sad fact of capitalism in which the poor must exist for there to be wealth? More importantly ... how excited are you for Nintendogs?



Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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