Thursday, January 02, 2003

I know I all want to know about New Year's Eve and so forth, but you just have to hold on for a few more hours...

I need to talk about Mafia, the hipster party game that's finally getting some attention. Gawker had a link to an article about it up earlier this week and it made me realize that I've played this game before and it's a lot of fun and I haven't played it in forever (or even moderated a game) and I would love to gather some people together to play...all I need are 12 bloggers (or interested readers) for a night of paranoia, accusations, lying, and jockeying for the proper position.

Mafia is a lot like the show Survivor but with a twist. A good game has 12 people playing although you can have more or less with a few modifications. Basically, the game is to figure out who are the members of the Mafia and get rid of them before they get rid of everyone else. Ideally, there are three Mafia members in each game. The moderator takes a deck of cards that have been shuffled and everyone is dealt a card that they look at and show no one. If you got a spade, you were Mafia. If you got the Joker, you were the detective (or some people call this the Angel). Anything else meant you were a villager. At the start everyone has their eyes closed and the moderator tells the Mafia to "awaken" and they can identify each other. Then the Mafia "sleep" and everyone is told to open their eyes. The first round goes for about 10 - 20 minutes or until you get an accusation where one person believes that someone is a member of the Mafia and by a majority vote (sometimes it has to be unanimous) someone is eliminated from the game. At that point, they turn over their card to reveal their status. The rounds can be very short or go on for some time. After the first person is voted out, everyone goes back to "sleep", the Mafia "awakes," and they vote through furtive gestures and glances who they want to eliminate next. They make their decision and they go back to "sleep," and the "angel" is instructed to awaken. At this point, they can make a gesture to the moderator as to whom they think could be Mafia. The moderator can choose at the beginning to announce this info openly to the group to let the Mafia know that the Angel is on to one of them or to keep it a secret. This keeps going until all the Mafia have been eliminated or when the Mafia outnumber the villagers. Even if there is one villager left, the Mafia wins because night will fall and the Mafia can kill off the last person.

It's a lot of fun and I haven't played it in a while, so what do you say...Mafia party anyone?
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