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Jiang Feng, who goes by the online handle Zhijian, on Zhanqi TV's Werewolf Program Lying Man. Photo by Zhanqi TV.

China’s Biggest Gaming ‘Whales’ Are Werewolves

By  |  June 16, 2017 7:00 AM PDT
Photo: Jiang Feng, who goes by the online handle Zhijian, on Zhanqi TV's Werewolf Program Lying Man. Photo by Zhanqi TV.

Jiang Feng is giving up a promising career as an engineer to go hunting for werewolves. As it turns out, being a celebrity monster killer in China’s latest mobile gaming craze pays a lot more than regular work.

Mr. Jiang spends up to four hours a day online as a professional player of “Werewolf”. Originally developed as a parlor game called Mafia by a Russian psychology professor in the late 1980s, it later evolved into a version called Werewolf and spread worldwide. Players divide up into groups of either innocents and killers, or villagers and werewolves, but their identities are hidden from each other. During the “day” innocents try to identify killers and vote them out. The killers secretly attack at “night.” (A card-based version of the game is also popular in the U.S.)

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