Critical Play: Judging and Getting Vulnerable

For this week’s critical play, I will be analyzing the game Mafia. It is an online version of the in-person social deception game Mafia. Even after searching online, I couldn’t figure out who the main designer of the online game is. The designers accept donations through Pateron and run a Discord server. In my opinion the target audience of the game would be teenagers and above considering the fact that it involves assassination, deception, and requires a certain amount of wittiness by the players to hide the killer until the end. 

The game is divided into two concrete parts namely day and night. All the members are secretly assigned roles into either being a villager or mafia. There is no limit as to how many people can play the game consecutively. In the case that the number of players is small, there can be as little as one member in the mafia team. During the night, members of the mafia team secretly eliminate a gullible town member and conspire a day-time strategy. During the day, they pretend to be innocent town members and debate alongside the rest of the cast members who among them is the mafia and vote to have the supposed mafia removed. The main objective of the game is to catch the mafia. The game ends when either all of the mafia members are eliminated or the number of remaining mafia members is greater than the number of town members. 

The main type of fun the game exhibits is fellowship as it forces the players to communicate and interact with each other and along the way develop camaraderie. One thing that I especially like about the online version of the game is that it allows both strangers and family members to play alongside each other. This way players can build new bonds that often translate outside of the play. One thing that I would like to add into the game would be to add the voice chat into the site so that players interested in using the audio don’t have to use the discord voice channel separately. 

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