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China’s Biggest Gaming ‘Whales’ Are Werewolves

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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—Juro Osawa and Shai Oster contributed to this report.


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“Being a villager and looking for every clue to find out the werewolves brings out your sense of justice. It satisfies the heroism inside of you.”