Public Lab Research note

Folding-Beijing: A Board Game based on Beijing eviction action

by shanlter | December 04, 2017 11:26 04 Dec 11:26 | #15292 | #15292

In this year's Barnraising, @Matej, @kgradow1, Tony and I were making a board game about residents/developer conflict. We didn't finish it but I really like the idea.

These days, Beijing city management office is evicting hundreds of thousands what they called "low-quality population" (For more, you can look up this article The Gurdian: China: 'ruthless' campaign to evict Beijing's migrant workers condemned We got a chance to continue the game idea in a mini gamejam(teaming up with other 4 people), and put it in a real background.

This is a 2 players game, which is very easy to make (all you need is paper, scissors and pen), short (5-10 mins for a round), playable (my roommate keep playing it for hours and can't stop), easy to replicate(you can change the two player role to any real conflict). Enjoy the game.

Folding-Beijing: A Board Game


18th Nov 2017, 19 people lived in an industrial neighborhood in south Beijing was killed in a fire accident. The migrants workers eviction were accelerated by this event. Beijing government launched an action called "Inspection, eviction and regulation" in the name of improving fire protection.

By 26th Nov 2017, city regulators need to evict hundreds of thousands what they called "Low quality population", the residents who live here, need to do whatever they can, to protect themselves from being evicting. Stay or leave? This is a war without winner.**

All cards and chips

Player: 2

Object: To evicate more population or to hide more population. When 2 player spend up all their chips, the one who own more population is win. If the population is even, the residents win.

Game Contents:

1.Players Card: "Beijing city management office" and "Low Quality Population"

2.Chips: 15 chips each, 30 in total. chips are used to determined the ownership of the land

3.Facilities Cards: power station X 3, house X 6. Electricity generated by power station is essential to keep the residents stay, on the other hand, officials try to cut the electricity to force the residents to leave. Power station can provide electricity to the adjacent houses, when destroyed, some houses might also be destroyed lacking of the electricity.

4.Population Card: 300 thousands X1; 200 thousands X2; 100 thousands X3; media X1; empty X2 _when media card is exposed, the player with more chips will lose 1/3 of the chips

Game Play:

1.2 players drew lots to decide who is "Beijing city management office", who is "Low Quality Population". Each players get 15 chips;

2."Low Quality Population" start the game by firstly hiding the residents into 9 districts. Do it strategically to avoid being evicted. Player put all 9 population cards into a 3X3 gird, as the example show below. Think of the best arrangement and remember it in mind. Beijing city management office should close eyes at this stage

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3."Low Quality Population" put the landscape cards on top of the population card. Notice: every house should be adjacent(up, down, left, right) to at least one power station to ensure electricity supply. Think of how to confuse the other player. Beijing city management office should close eyes at this stage

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4."Low Quality Population"can choose to put some chips(from his 15 chips) on the facilities that he want to protect. (or to confuse officials). Or do nothing.

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5.Beijing city management office open eyes, Eviction starts; 6."Beijing city management office" put the chips onto the top of the facility he want to destroy. If the "Low Quality Population" don't want the facility be taken, he has to put more chips. Both side can add more until one side quit. If officials's chips is less than residents', the land is protect. If more, the facility is destroyed, the population under is exposed, and taken away by official. All the chips on top of the facility is gone, and can not be reuse. Note 1: When the power station be destroyed, look at the adjacent facility, if it is house without other power supplement, it will be destroyed and the underneath population will be evicted as well. Note 2: If the media card is exposed, the player with more chips will lose 1/3 of the chips

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official's chips is more than residents',the facility is destroyed

the house without power supplement will be destroyed and the underneath population will be evicted as well

this land is cleared as well

7.Beijing city management office starts new eviction by putting chips on undamaged facilities, until using up his chip. The one who owns more population wins. If the two players has the same population, the residents win.



  1. "Low Quality Population"need to remember the cards arrangement before eviction, can not look up the underneath card during play;
  2. "Low Quality Population" can not put chips on undamaged facility once the eviction start.


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This is cool! thanks @liz

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Via @xuhulk on twitter, see "Hua Yong: Artist flees Beijing after filming mass evictions of migrant workers. Residents 'have no heating and no supermarkets to shop for groceries, because they have all been shut down'" and the artist @HuaYong798's last video message to his daughter before being arrested by police for documenting mass evictions in Beijing

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So cool!

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We'll be talking about games on the second hour of Open Call tomorrow!!!

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