When we last left off, we were talking about matchpot and the soon to be world championships. But what matchpot lacks in cerberal and social subtlety, Mafia brings out in potfuls. Basically the game is about killing innocent villagers, whether you are the mafia or one of the lynch mob yourself. I was introduced to this game when we were all sitting around in our hotel rooms in Thrissur. The real interesting part is not the game in itself, but how it lets (or in fact forces) you to study other people under a microscope.
After the first few games where Mafia won hands down, slowly the villagers started to pick up on the non-visual cues as well. It was quite interesting to see people trying to be overclever and bluff with poker faces. Also several interesting observations, some particularly personal, were made by a lot of people. I did get a quite inside picture of a couple of people's minds and it is terrifying what some people are actually capable of, compared to your mental estimate of their trick quotient. On top of that, it is also a measure of how successfully you can con other people into changing their opinions. On the receiving side, mafia has a way of exposing your gullibility in a painfully obvious way.
An important lesson the game has taught me is about myself. I found out to my surprise that I think a lot more clearly when I am not formulating a point to present. Being dead in the game gives you a totally different perspective which you are unlikely to get while you are talking. Sometimes just having to sit and watch the entire crowd ignore the clinical quality of the strategy is just way too frustrating. Masterpeices of strategy are completely lost to the villagers who're more concerned about staying alive to the next round rather than bringing the mafia down. Exposed are the simplified versions of our daily grind, where the evil go un-punished and good are targeted. Religions have been based on much less than fixing this (later, much later).
Nobody has seen me as the Mafia yet, but I'm better at finding things out than hiding them.--
Fanatics are often blinded in their thoughts.
Leaders are often blinded in their hearts.