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Cuban smoker on lurking

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Original Publication: Prior to February 8, 2007 by cuban smoker


Active member of MafiaScum and GameModerator notorious for IntrigueMafia and TimeTravelMafia. He's been around for a long, long time.


An interesting "article" I wrote in response to these questions:

This is just a post to ask Cuban Smoker, and those that follow his dream of a lurker-free Mafia game, what is going to happen to the deceit and strategy of Mafia in his quest for a New World Order?

    • Will the Mafia game be raped of its strategy if everyone is talking all the time?
    • Won't scum find it easier to blend into the crowd during the chaos?
    • Why am I asking these questions when I can't wait to play Cuban Smoker's upcoming game?
    • When is CS going to get hiss ass in gear and let me play in his wonderous game so I can stop looking suspicious for talking too much?



Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:51 am    Reply Number: 1   

Mafia was originally designed as a face-to-face game, having evolved from other similar games like murder and witch-hunt. IRL (in real life), the equivalent of a lurker is someone who sits and watches the game, not contributing to the flow of ideas. Now, from my experience, players can get away with this for a day or two, until someone points out that they haven't been saying much. This is usually a kiss of death. Think about it: you know some of your friends are scum, and one of them is just sitting there, watching you as you plot to kill them all. The rest of them are talking it up, arguing, making fools of themselves. You naturally associate the minority: those not talking, with the minority you are seeking: the mafia.

Unfortunately, you lose that visibility online. You never can see the big picture, the circle of all the people playing, because only a few posts fit on your screen at once. You know you are seeking mafia but because you have less information online, you look for guilty parties where it is most obvious: those that have recently posted. Someone who posts a lot finds him/herself a target more and more often as their name keeps coming up in discussion and in the bar on the left. You naturally associate the minority: those talking a lot, with the minority you are seeking: the mafia.

Entire articles could be written about the differences between the two games, but the important part of this argument is answering the first two parts of Bobacino's question.

Part 1: Will the game be raped of its strategy? I believe the answer is an emphatic 'no'. The goal of changing the philosophy of the game would be to move the online game back towards the IRL game. Give the players more information, not less. Obvioulsy drivel and blather will not help the game move along, but IRL my friends would point out the silliest little things as possible mafia behaviour. There isn't enough of that, as not everyone notices everything. More people commenting means more ideas come to surface. Increase the strategy in the game by promoting more conversation, more arguments, and more mafia slips. I have made a few references to mistakes I have made that could have gotten me lynched. I'm sure these happen all the time. The more someone posts, the more likely they will forget they can't say something they want to say. More people talking means more oportunities to catch these slips. Stupid and pointless day 1? At the peak of this type of game, it doesn't exist. Perhaps the accusation have less substance, but accusations and voting history have a way of actually being relevant. We can all become super-sleuths as we try and find the little details that will raise the level of the game. Random bandwagons will be all but eliminated as things like logic, text analysis, and intelligent banter take over. Every game will be like its own mini-mystery. The game will be reborn.

Part 2: Will the mafia be able to hide amid the chaos? They already do, my friend, they already do. As noted above, by forcing everone to talk, the number of mafia posts will increase, and the number of potential slips as well. If players attack each other with little arguments, little defenses will have to be constructed. Reactions can reveal entire roles if read into properly. The game will become more interesting, and more playable. Can they actually hide? If the mafia are posting, they can be caught. It's that simple.

At this point I should point out that many people have discusses their distress over long posts. However, the only complaint I have heard about the quantity of posts is too little! I believe, as a rule, that interest in the games will become contagious. Just look at IR and discworld. Interesting games with many posters that just take off on their own accord...