Skip to main content

The Bad Boss Files
- They did it, but did they get away with it?

The Bad Boss Files game was created for people to learn about common and landmark labour dispute cases in China and find out whether employers were caught violating labour rights and laws.


Labour rights






According to the 2015 Pew Global Survey, 75% of people in China think the gap between the rich and poor is a big problem, 61% of people think corrupt businesspeople is a big problem, and 58% of people think conditions for workers is a big problem.

Combining best practices in game design with comprehensive research on labour rights violations, DPS created a game that allowed people to test and increase their awareness of common and landmark labour dispute cases in China and find out if employers had been caught infringing on labour rights and laws.

An isometric city landscape that represents the game board.

Labour rights cases in this game were sourced from articles found in Chinese news media in order to reflect common violations occurring within China. All of the examples used in the game were cross-referenced against multiple sources in order to verify their authenticity.

Example question with correct answer interaction.

To accompany the game, DPS launched an anonymous ask-me-anything (AMA) platform featuring a panel of experts on labor rights and labor laws. The launch of an in-game chat and an anonymous AMA event gave Chinese internet users an opportunity to ask questions about any labour issue without fear of retaliation from their workplace.

Just five days after it launched, the AMA platform was visited over half a million times with thousands submitting questions.

2.65MUnique visitors to the game and AMA platforms

In a post-AMA survey of over 1000 participants, 75% said that the panel of experts helped increase their understanding of labour rights issues.

Social media analysis showed a 135.2% increase in conversations about labour rights and laws in the period from November 2017 to June 2018.

Since launch the Bad Boss Files has been successfully adapted to support new labour rights causes. In 2019, the game was redesigned to support workers in chemical factories in an effort to generate more awareness around workplace safety

Possible Use Cases

  • Global rights-focused education initiatives
  • Education and media literacy