Detective game apps are springing up in China, bringing out the Sherlock Holmes in users and providing social outlets for aspiring sleuths, China Daily reported Wednesday.
In February 2018, an app named Wo Shi Mi (literally “I’m a secret”) was launched on WeChat, a social media platform, and on both the app stores of Android and Apple in June, becoming the first detective social game app in China.
Several similar apps followed suit, such as Juben Sha (“scripts of murder”) and Xijing Da Zhentan (“playing famous detectives”).
These apps provide users with online platforms to act as detectives in different crime stories and find the truth through interaction with other players, known or unknown to each other.
Unlike location-based games, users need to read the scripts and discuss the cases on the app. Clues are directly given to them, and a click of the button will provide all the information needed. With the help of technology and the Internet, it’s also easier to gather enough people for a game, the newspaper read.
Zhao Lin, the initiator of the Juben Sha app, was quoted as saying that users of the game mainly come from first-and second-tier cities, and that every day about 50,000 people use the app.
Zhao thought that the main reason behind the boom in detective game apps is their social aspect.
Zhang Wenping, a postgraduate student at the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, is a devoted Juben Sha player. He regards socializing as the most appealing part of the app.
“To me, it’s not only a game, but a way of meeting more people as well as maintaining my current social network,” Zhang was quoted as saying.