Shanghai Daily news
At first sight, Linda Wang is a
stereotypical white-collar lady.
She's elegant and says little. But the
moment she enters the fabulous game scenes for the role-playing hit "PK: Police
and Killer," things change dramatically.
In the following hours, Wang's
admirable eloquence, excellent logical reasoning, ingenious disguise and her
endless passion cannot fail to impress. She is indeed a veteran player.
have more than two years of experience in this game and have witnessed its
evolution in Shanghai," says Wang. "We first played at teahouses. But the newly
opened Qizhi Club (a club specially for detective and puzzle games) offers a
more authentic ambience."
Wang, in her 20s, is a public relation executive.
She is a frequent visitor to the game club, where she meets other game
enthusiasts from a variety of fields. Off the game, they also derive great fun
from hot discussions or disputes about tips and walkthroughs via the club's
Internet community. "The game was first introduced to the Chinese mainland in
the late 1990s by some overseas Chinese students in the Silicon Valley," says
Wang. "It is a perfect way to make friends and get to know each other
The murder-mystery game is believed to have its origins in Sherlock
Holmes's detective series and there are two versions.
The classic version has
four kinds of roles: police, killer, civilian and judge, which are determined by
drawing lots. Each keeps their identity a secret except the judge, the game's
witness and narrator. After every "night murder" round, players will open their
eyes and address strategic speeches and debates for their own cause. For police,
they need to find out all the killers and persuade the civilians to vote for
each killer's death before they strike next. Killers should analyze who're the
real police, and they won't win unless they have killed all the police.
people mistake it for a 'lying' game," Wang explains. "But I think it's not
about lies. We improve our communication abilities, reactions, logical analysis
and team work. Plus, the game helps me to meet more peers."
The club is still
fresh for others, even some game lovers. Qizhi Club, founded by four young
people in January, is the first of its kind in the city. "Winnie Bear," whose
real name is Wen Zhiyong, is one of the founders and its general manager.
"Police and Killer" enthusiast, the 28-year-old quit his job at a travel agency
last August and teamed up with his friends from "Four Seasons Dating" - a
friend-making club targeting white-collar employees - to extend the philosophy
of the game. "It sounded like a crazy idea at first," Wen recalls. "After all it
is new. You know, very adventurous."
Wan and his partners started with 2
million yuan (US$246,600). Luckily, his partners are capable, and some of them
are familiar with business operation and marketing, as these fields are relevant
to their full-time jobs. They even designed and decorated the club
"A quiet and cozy environment is necessary for such
'murder-mystery' games," Wen adds. "Players are likely to be interrupted in
noisy and crowded teahouses. But in our club, there're eight boxes with special
decorations, properties and our employee 'judges'."
Each player's name and
points are displayed on the large screen. During the "night murder" rounds,
special music is provided to create an authentic thrilling atmosphere. Digital
voting machines can simplify the process of counting. And for the eliminated
players who are out of the round can immediately join another table and start a
"We have a very similar game in France - the same frame with new
roles like witch or little girl," says Yves-Henri Robillard, a French visitor.
"But in my country, we usually play it at home. Joining the game at such a club
with special facilities seems interesting."
At present, the club has more
than 500 registered members, most aged between 20 and 40. Many of them are
well-to-do white-collar executives and university students. Its 20-plus
counterparts in Beijing, Chongqing and other areas of the country are also
showing healthy membership.
"Everybody is so busy in Shanghai that sometimes
it's hard to find time when both you and your friends are free," says Wen. "But
the game club can turn strangers into friends, companions, or at least playmates
who have similar interests and tastes."
In the future, Wen and his partners
plan to offer a few more puzzles and sports such as "Rich Man" game, snooker,
table tennis and even salsa at the club.
"'Police and Killer' game is a
method to bring people with similar interests together," adds Xie Jie, another
founder of Qizhi with expertise in planning and communications. "We have higher
goals to develop our club into a creative platform for matchmaking and
friend-making for city dwellers."
In the past weeks, they have organized a
variety of activities among its members such as traveling, theme parties as well
as charity donations to needy students in Anhui Province. Different from other
prevailing matchmaking events featuring speed dating, karaoke, games or "cupids"
sending messages to people, Qizhi offers single white-collar workers more of a
chance to understand each other instead of pushing them together.
matchmaking agencies or Websites don't have a base area for gathering and
activities," Xie explains. "Temporary gatherings have proved an ineffective way
to find love. But our players can have their time chat after the game, keep in
touch and develop their affairs in a natural way." Dr Liu Haibo from Shanghai
University, who is also a game lover, says such a club is "innovative."
white-collar workers are intellectuals and have busy and monotonous careers,"
says Dr Liu. "The flexible game platform with not much cost satisfies their
demands for communications and sociality. I believe it will be a promising
So, you may still say it's just a game, but there're some people
out there very serious about games.
Who's police and who's killer?
The classic version of the "PK: Police and Killer" game has four kinds of
roles: police, killer, civilian and judge, which are determined by drawing lots.
Each has a secret identity except the judge, the game's witness and
When "night" falls, killers choose a target person to kill and
police can choose a person to confirm his/her identity.
After every "night
murder" round, all of the "alive" players will open their eyes and address
strategic speeches and debates for their own sake.
Police try to find the
killers and persuade the civilians to vote for each of the killers' deaths
before they strike next.
Killers should analyze who're the real police, and
they won't win unless they have killed all the police.
Date: Mondays-Thursdays, 3pm-3am; Fridays-Sundays, 3pm-7am
Club, 815 Anyuan Rd
Admission: 25 yuan per person (includes drinks, snacks
and game training)