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A room with a clue

By Jiang Yijing | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-22 09:53
Players take a group photo clad in their fantasy-themed costumes at a location-based entertainment venue in Beijing.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Players immersed in sleuthing scenarios make friends and come together to crack a mystery, Jiang Yijing reports.

Imagine someone told you that they had seen you last night after midnight, but you remembered clearly that you went to bed before 10 pm. You are shocked, scared, and helpless, eager to know what happened. Your diary might provide a clue, or photographs might help you understand what's going on. After digging and digging, an unexpected idea comes to you: Due to maltreatment during childhood, you suffer from schizophrenia. "Dumbstruck would be an understatement," says Chen Xi, a 26-year-old woman to whom this unsettling experience happened.

Now you might think that Chen may need time to digest this and calm down, but she is not worried because this all took place in a location-based detective game, or juben sha, in Chinese.

The deductive game, literally meaning "scripts of murder", is based on different scenarios, with each player choosing a role to play and receiving a specific script that tells the story from a particular angle before the game. Once the game begins, players wear costumes suitable for their roles and together find clues that will explain the story, while the designated murderer aims to mislead and conceal his or her identity.

If the majority wins, they will draw a picture of the whole story. Otherwise, the murderer remains undetected.

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