Ok, I feel like my life has officially come full circle. I freely admit that a significant portion of my life was dedicated to playing video games, but for the past ten years or so I would say that I’m only really a casual gamer at best. That doesn’t mean that I don’t keep up on the gaming industry news.
Well, it seems that Nintendo has caught up to me in the DRC thanks to the impending release of the Nintendo 3DS on March 27th. A Facebook group is boycotting the release of the 3DS until it takes action against conflict minerals.
Now, in their FAQ they specifically claim that they don’t have proof that Nintendo is using conflict minerals, but the do say the following:
“What we DO KNOW is that these minerals ARE GOING INTO OUR MARKETS and Nintendo very well may be using them IF WE DON’T REGULATE TRADE ROUTES AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT. Other companies have made efforts, but Nintendo has failed to do so.”
It seems highly unlikely that this boycott will even come close to harming the sales figures of the 3DS, which, as a friend of mine who works at a Game Stop has informed me, are expected to sell out on the first day simply through pre-purchases.
But, it does demonstrate that there are a lot of minerals used in electronic products which can be linked to conflict zones around the world. Diamonds are not the only things which are profitable, and more and more companies need to make a stand on these issues, even if the price is passed on the the consumer.