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A Shenzhen Based Version of Monopoly Themed on the Coronavirus outbreak


Get METROPOLISZ by Lapis Bureau – a Shenzhen based version of Monopoly themed on the Coronavirus outbreak

The sudden outbreak of Coronavirus has been devastating in China, where several regions and infrastructure were put in total lockdown; fortunately in Shenzhen, where our design studio (Lapis Bureau) is based, not only it has been very well under control but it happened during Chinese New Year when most citizens had already left the national holidays. Nevertheless the precautional measures applied turned Shenzhen into a “ghost town” for quite a while, with offices and activities closed, and it has been hard for everyone to be somehow quarantined at home, not being able to run the business as usual, and being scared for an enemy we can not even perceive or see.

To face the greatest challenges of life, especially in business, we need to cultivate creative thinking. It is in times like this that creativity boosts our hopes, and it is nurtured by the minutes and hours that suddenly are available to ourselves because we can not dedicate 100% to what we were used to do, the daily routine of our businesses.

Being architects, design is our weapon of choice, and we came up with an initiative that could bring some fun in the local community, provide some playful relief to those families locked at home, and meanwhile actually fighting the good fight for a nice charity cause, providing help to those in need through a fund raise. We redesigned a version of the well-known Monopoly game, we called it METROPOLISZ (SZ stands for Shenzhen), and hacked it into a Shenzhen-based version, giving it the slight theme of prevention to the CoronaVirus outbreak, featuring some of the most popular local bars in the Probability cards (that we renamed as WTF? and OMG!), and whom supported the production costs of this limited and self-produced edition of the boardgame, that would be a give-away for those whom will make a donation to A Heart For China, a volunteers charity based in Shenzhen among the first ones that started the support and some fund-raising initiative.

We are taking this very seriously, and we professionally custom designed every aspect of the game, providing a high quality final product in its detail. Our aim and ambition is not only to provide a fun activity to the families and group of friends that still need to spend a lot of time within the four walls of their homes, but to do this for raising funds for those in need during this difficult period, partnering with a local charity association (A Heart For China).

Special features of METROPOLISZ

  • Shenzhen based version of the popular Monopoly, the 4 sides of the board represent the districts of Futian, Luohu, Shekou and the outskirts; instead of the 4 Stations we created the Transportation Hubs (Bao’an Airport, Shekou Ferry, Futian Bus Terminal and Luohu Railway Station); instead of the water/electricity Utilities we created the Food and Beverage cards;
  • Instead of the Jail, we feature the Quarantine and other Virus outbreak-related mentions;
  • The board is made of soft iron rubber, and all the custom tokens (players, houses, hotels) will be magnetic and no player will mess up the board at every second dice throw!
  • Catchy packaging in a custom tube that would recall the one of a bottle, so it could stand properly in a bar shelf, easy to be carried around or shipped anywhere! It features a custom graphic of a map of Shenzhen;
  • All banknotes are custom made, resembling somehow the RMB we are all use to, but with a different “mao” (it means “cat” in Chinese);
  • Within the game there are many referrals not only to popular venues, but to to the local charity association, and hopefully provide further financial support to charitable activities from the players in future by directly scanning the donation code;
  • It is self produced in a limited amount of copies, that would be gifted to those who make a donation to A Heart For China;
  • It’s a well-designed artifact, and an evergreen fun game!
    “You don’t need a mask to be a hero; but you need to wear one to be responsible!”

CREDITS Design Team: Freddy Curiél, Viki Ferrari, Niccolò Centrone

Photos and videos: Shady Monkey

Featuring: AHFC – A Heart For China, BAIA Burger Club, BRASS House, MAMBO

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