Fighting Eviction: The Videogame

A new videogame pits feisty “nailhouse” owners, or property owners who refuse to be forcibly evicted, against property developers. From the Wall Street Journal blog:

Nail Household vs. Demolition Team, released by Mirage Games in August, is set in a cleared pit, empty except for a lone three-story house marked “chai” — the Chinese word for demolition.

The goal? To defend your house against guards and gangsters brandishing knives and bouncing on jackhammers. The characters you can play include a woman in curlers who throws sandals at encroaching attackers, a pot-bellied man who drops dynamite from the roof, and an old man with a shotgun.

When you win a level, the woman appears, pointing a finger at the Forbidden City, the symbolic center of the government’s power. When you lose, the house collapses in a cloud of dust.

The game is the latest example of how chai is bleeding into Chinese pop culture. Earlier this year, Li Chengpeng drew attention for “Avatar: An Epic Nail House Textbook,” which compares the plight of James Cameron’s Na’vi to the people who live in “nail houses,” so named because they stick out of construction sites like a nail out of a plank of wood.

The game is available here.