## Mafia (party game)

Mafia, also known as Werewolf, is a party game created by Dmitry Davidoff in 1986 modelling a conflict between two groups: an informed minority (the mafia), and an uninformed majority (the innocents). At the start of the game, each player is secretly assigned a role affiliated with one of these teams. The game has two alternating phases: one, during which the mafia may covertly "murder" an innocent, and two, in which surviving players debate the identities of the mafia and vote to eliminate a suspect. The game continues until all of the mafia have been eliminated or until the mafia outnumbers the innocents.

## History

Dmitry Davidoff (Russian: ???????? ????????, Dmitry Davydov) is generally acknowledged as the game's creator. He dates the first game to spring 1987 at the Psychology Department of Moscow State University, spreading to classrooms, dorms, and summer camps of Moscow University. Wired attributes the creation to Davidoff but dates the first game to 1987, with 1986 being the year in which Davidoff was starting the work which would produce Mafia. He developed the game to combine psychology research with his duties teaching high school students. The game became popular in other Soviet colleges and schools and in the 1990s it began to be played in other parts of Europe and then the United States. By the mid 1990s a version of the game became a Latvian television series (with a parliamentary setting, and played by Latvian celebrities).

Andrew Plotkin gave the rules a werewolf theme in 1997, arguing that the mafia were not that big a cultural reference, and that the werewolf concept fit the idea of a hidden enemy who looked normal during the daytime. Mafia and a variant called Thing have been played at science fiction writers' workshops since 1998, and have become an integral part of the annual Clarion and Viable Paradise workshops. The Werewolf variant of Mafia became widespread at major tech events, including the Game Developers Conference, ETech, Foo Camps, and South By Southwest. In 1998 the Kaliningrad Higher school of the Internal Affairs Ministry published the methodical textbook Nonverbal communications. Developing role-playing games 'Mafia' and 'Murderer' for a course on Visual psychodiagnostics, to teach various methods of reading body language and nonverbal signals. In September 1998 Mafia was introduced to the Graduate College at Princeton University, where a number of variants were developed. The werewolf theme was also incorporated in the French adaption of Mafia, The Werewolves of Millers Hollow.

In August 2000, a user under the alias "mithrandir" of The Grey Labyrinth, a website devoted to puzzles and puzzle solving, ran a game of mafia adapted for play on a forum board. Both The Grey Labyrinth and sister site MafiaScum claim that this was the first game of mafia run on a forum board. From there, Mafia has spread to numerous online communities.

In March 2006 Ernest Fedorov was running a Mafia Club in Kiev, using his own patented variation of the rules. The club organizes games, rates players, and awards prizes (including a Sicily trip for their tournament-series champion).

In June 2006 a Rockingham school inquiry was launched after parents complained of the traumatic effects classroom Mafia was having on their fifth-grade children. Davidoff responded to the reports, saying that as a parent who had studied child psychology for 25 years, he felt that the game could "teach kids to distinguish right from wrong", and that the positive message of being honest could overcome the negative effects of an "evil narrator" moderating the game as if it were a scary story.

In late 2013, Michael "Thingyman" Harders founded the Game of Mafia Champions, an invitation-only series in which players from multiple internet communities play in a series of mafia games, culminating in a final game, where the best player of the year is determined. The series was first hosted on Two Plus Two Poker Forums' Puzzles and Other Games section and has since been moved to Mafia Universe.

Mafia was called one of the 50 most historically and culturally significant games published since 1890 by about.com.

## Gameplay

In its simplest form, Mafia is played by two teams: the mafia and the innocents. Live games require a moderator who does not participate as a player, and identities are assigned by handing out cards. At the start of the game, every mafioso is given the identities of their teammates, whereas the innocents only receive the number of mafioso in the game, and do not know which players are mafia and which are innocents.

There are two phases: night and day. At night, certain players secretly perform special actions; during day, players discuss and vote to "lynch," or eliminate, one player. These phases alternate with each other until all mafiosi have been eliminated or until the mafia outnumbers the innocents.

Some players may be given roles with special abilities. Common special roles include:

• detective -- an innocent who may learn the team of one player every night;
• doctor -- an innocent who may protect a player from being killed every night;
• barman -- a mafioso who may cancel the effect of another role's ability every night

Andrew Plotkin recommends having exactly two mafiosi, whereas the original Davidoff rules suggest a third of the players (rounding to the nearest whole number) be mafiosi. Davidoff's original game does not include roles with special abilities. In his rules for "Werewolf," Plotkin recommends that the first phase be day and that there be an odd number of players. These specifications prevent players from being killed before the first day and in most scenarios ensure that the game will end dramatically on a lynching rather than with an anticlimactic murder.

### Night

All players close their eyes. The moderator then instructs all members of the mafia to open their eyes and acknowledge their accomplices. The mafia members pick a "victim" by silently gesturing to indicate their target and to show unanimity then close their eyes again.

A similar process occurs for other roles with nightly actions. In the case of the detective, the moderator may indicate the target's innocence or guilt by using gestures such as nodding or head shaking.

Night may be accompanied by players tapping gently to mask sounds made by gesturing.

### Day

The moderator instructs players to open their eyes and announces who "died" the previous night. Discussion ensues among the living players. At any point, a player may accuse someone of being a mafioso and prompt others to vote to lynch them. If over half of the players do so, the accused person is eliminated and night begins. Otherwise, the phase continues until a lynching occurs.

According to some rules, the role of dead players are revealed; according to others, it is not. In both cases, dead players are not permitted to attempt to influence the remainder of the game.

Because players have more freedom to deliberate, days tend to be longer than nights.

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## Game theory

### Mathematical study

Mafia is a complicated game to model, so most analyses of optimal play have assumed both (a) that there are only townsfolk and mafiosi and (b) that the townsfolk never have a probability of identifying the Mafia that is better than chance. Early treatment of the game concentrated on simulation, while more recent studies have tried to derive closed-form equilibrium solutions for perfect play.

In 2006, the computer scientists Braverman, Etesami and Mossel proved that without detectives and with perfect players the randomized strategy is optimal for both citizens and mafia. When there is a large enough number of players to give both groups similar probability of winning, they showed that the initial number of mafiosi m needs to be proportional to the square root of the total number of players P, that is ${\displaystyle {\textstyle m\propto {\sqrt {P}}}}$. With a simulation, they confirmed that 50 mafiosi would have almost a 50% chance to win among 10,000. The Mafia's chance of victory is

${\displaystyle W(m,P)\approx {\frac {m}{\sqrt {P}}},}$

which is a good approximation when the right hand side is below 40%. If any detectives are added to the game, Braverman et al. proved that the number of mafiosi must remain at a fixed proportion of the total number of players for their chance of winning to remain constant.

In 2008, Erlin Yao derived specific analytical bounds for the mafia's win probability when there are no detectives.

In a paper from 2010, exact formula for the probability that the mafia wins was found. Moreover, it was shown that the parity of the initial number of players plays an important role. In particular, when the number of mafiosi is fixed and an odd player is added to the game (and ties are resolved by coin flips), the mafia-winning chance do not drop but rise by a factor of approx. ${\displaystyle {\sqrt {\pi /2}}}$ (equality in the limit of the infinite number of players).

### Results in live play

In live (or videoconference) real-time play, the innocents typically win more often than game theory suggests. Several reasons for this have been advanced:

• The physiological stress of sustained lying degrades the initial ability of mafioso to deceive the innocents, much more than a model of perfect play would predict, especially if the innocents can get the town emotionally involved in the game's outcome:

If you're trying to feign shock or anger, it's much harder to do over a long period. People accused of something they're trying to hide will start out feigning outrage - 'How dare you ask me that?' But that will start to change to objection rather than shock, as it's psychologically very difficult to mimic emotion.

• The information revealed by the mafiosi voting patterns tells against them later in the game. One of the game's fans Max Ventilla, has said that "If the villagers are allowed to keep a pencil and paper, they always win."
• As players get more experienced, their strategic sophistication and ability to spot and use deception increases. They will typically get better at the skills needed for playing innocents faster, being villagers more often than mafiosi.
• The Metagame aspect: Dimma Davidoff has said, Past connections will always lose to future collaborations. When playing several Mafia games with the same people, it's more helpful to be known for honesty than for deceit. Davidoff considers that so important that he thinks the advantages of playing the mafioso role honestly, outweigh the disadvantages.

But, the Mafia can win in live play; their best chance of winning occurs when mafioso bond with their innocent neighbours and convince those neighbours to value that bond over dispassionate analysis. The game designers Salen and Zimmerman have written that the deep emergent social game play in Mafia (combined with the fear of elimination) create ideal conditions for this.

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## Optional roles

These additional roles are named differently in the many versions of Mafia, for thematic flavor, or historical reasons. Also, the same role-name can have differing functions across different versions of the game. What follows is a general list of role types found in Mafia variants; since the specific names vary by milieu it must be non-exhaustive.

### Investigative roles

Players with these roles use their own night-phase to discover something about other players. Though the standard game now includes the basic Detective, these roles are optional, and games can exclude them entirely (such as the stool pigeon variant, or Davidoff's original rules).

#### Investigative roles (standard)

• --Detective, Seer, Commandant, Sheriff, etc.
Allied with the Innocents, the Detective can detect whether a player is a mafioso. They will typically wake up, and point at one person; the Narrator will silently indicate to the Detective whether that player is Mafia or Innocent. In some versions of the game, the Detective's investigation result is announced publicly by the Narrator, for example the Detective found a Mafioso!. More commonly, no announcement is made. As with other roles, which player is the detective is not generally known, leaving anyone the option of pretending to be the Detective.
A Detective is usually included in modern games. For example, somebody is always assigned this role in all commercial card game versions, and almost all internet-based, and most face-to-face games start with at least one detective. Multiple detectives either act in separate night phases (unaware of the identities of other detectives) or work together as the police (an association role).

#### Investigative roles (less common)

• --Psychic, Wizard, Fortune Teller, Oracle, Tracker, Watcher, etc.
Psychic, Psychologist, or Sorcerer-type investigators can determine other players' roles, rather than their alignments. Roles which detect other roles are usually implemented in the same way as the Detective's ability to determine alignment. For example: the Psychologist points to a player (at night) for a Thumbs-up from the moderator if the Vigilante is pointed to. A Tracker may see what someone's night action was, or the target of their action, while a Watcher may see all those who visited someone at night.
Information revealed to investigators is fallible (in more complicated variants). Online versions can give information with a confidence level, and in other variants the Narrator deceives the Detective by showing all players as Innocent, all as Guilty, giving reversed results, or random information (these can be termed as Naive, Paranoid, Insane, or Random respectively). Additionally, some Alignment roles give immunity to successful investigation.
In some games, there are Mafia Detectives, who have the power of a normal detective but are on the Mafia side. The Super Commandant has the standard power of a Detective, while also protecting the investigated from night-time attack.

### Omniscient roles

• --Witness, Child, Little Girl, etc.
Instead of having to investigate, some innocent roles give complete information on the entire mafia: The witness is told who the mafia are during the first night, while the mafia are not told the witness's identity (differing from the stool pigeon in not being a part of the mafia).
The Little Girl in Werewolf and Werewolves of Miller's Hollow is allowed to secretly peek and watch as the werewolves choose their victim; if discovered doing so by the Werewolves, she dies of fright.

### Protective roles

• --Guardian Angel, Doctor, Bodyguard, Hero, Jailer, etc.
Allied with the Innocents, the Doctor-type role defends others at night. Typically, they will awaken at night after the Mafia have gone back to sleep and point at one person to protect; that person will survive any night-time attack. They are typically allowed to protect themselves, and are commonly barred from protecting the same target on successive nights. A Guardian Angel can only protect others. The Nurse gains the Doctor's abilities if the Doctor dies. The Jailer protects innocents just like the doctor, but also simultaneously blocks their night action. The Firefighter, or the Herbalist can protect from some night-time attacks but not others (in Werewolf, for example, they choose one person to protect with wolfsbane, but that person may still be killed by the Serial Killer). Other games limit this ability to a certain number of times.

### Killing roles

• --Vigilante, Veteran, Hunter, Bomb, Woodcutter, etc.
Aside from Mafia, Werewolves, and Serial Killers (solitary guilty parties), the Innocents may have some roles with the ability to kill at night. The Vigilante is an innocent who kills every night, in their own night-time phase, in some variations, having a limited bullet supply for the entire game. Some variations introduce a time limit of two nights before the player in the Killing Role can exercise their right to kill again or the trait that if they kill an innocent they either lose the ability to kill or die from guilt the next night. In the case of the Veteran, they may use their ability (a finite number of times, usually 3) in which anyone who targets them (friend or foe) will be killed. The Bomb may only trigger if targeted at night (not necessarily for death) by another role. Variants exist where this person can kill during the daytime cycle (e.g., the Terrorist / Gravedigger), sometimes only if executed during the daytime. The Woodcutter or Hunter can take one other person with them whenever they die.

### Alignment roles

• --Miller, Godfather, Alpha Wolf, Wildcard, etc.
Some roles can fool investigations to determine their alignments: the Miller is an Innocent who appears guilty (usually because they are an outsider); the Godfather, on the other hand, appears innocent despite being the Mafia leader. The Alpha Wolf or Master Werewolf have the same role as the Godfather in Werewolf settings.

### Double-agent roles

• --Traitor, Possessed, Undercover Cop, Godfather, etc.
The Traitor is not a mafioso (in that he does not awake at night and is not revealed as a mafioso by Detective type roles), but works to protect them and hamper the town during the day cycle, and wins only with a Mafia victory. Conversely, the Undercover Cop is a mole within the Mafia group who acts with the Mafia but wins with the innocents. The stool pigeon may be the only optional role in play, and makes up one of the few modern game forms to be played without an investigative role.
Distinct from the alignment-role Godfather, the double-agent Godfather behaves as a standard mafioso, but wakes again (after the Mafia sleep) to perform an extra kill. This Godfather-role wins only if he survives.

### Role manipulators

• --Role-blocker, Bus Driver, Thief, Barman, Witch, etc.
These roles can stop or alter the night actions of others; for instance, they may prevent a protection or investigation from occurring, or they may change the target. The Role-blocker can block the Vigilante for a night, while the Thief, Prostitute or Hypnotizer might be able to disable the powers of any selected target.
When the thief is used in Werewolves, an additional townsfolk card is added before dealing, and the Thief may choose on the first night to steal the role of another player or to take the unused role card. The player whose role was stolen gets the unused role card and the Thief card is discarded.

### Recruitment roles

• --Godfather, Psychiatrist, Piper, Cult Leader, etc.
The Mafia Godfather may be able to recruit innocent players into their faction under certain circumstances. The Yakuza is a regular mafia player with an extra power: they may sacrifice themselves from the second night (during the night) and choose an innocent to join the mafia.
Each night, the scientist selects a player to cure; if a mafioso is cured, they awaken as an innocent. The Psychiatrist is an innocent with the ability to convert the Serial Killer into a normal innocent.
Cult Leaders recruit followers at night instead of kill; they act as an independent faction, usually with the ability to talk at night. The Piper wins by charming every surviving player; she charms players at night, who then know each other (but not the piper) but are otherwise unaffected.

### Association roles

• --Freemasons (Masons), Siblings, Lovers, Police, etc.
Possessors of these roles know one another and what their roles are. On the innocent's side, a Mason usually has no special abilities, but knows the identity of all other Masons and that all Masons are also innocent. Every member of the detectives or the police knows all the rest, because they collaborate at night to investigate someone (sharing the powers of the Detective role between them).
Sibling pairs typically consist of one Mafia and one Innocent; in most versions, if one is killed, the other also dies.Cupid in Werewolves chooses a pair of Lovers on the first night. In this variant, the Lovers can also win the game (regardless of whether they are Mafia, Innocents, or both) by being the last two standing.

### Election roles

• --Doublevoter, Priest, Rabble Rouser, Lawyer, etc.
Until the Rabble Rouser dies there are two lynchings per day.
In some games there are players who can change the vote count. Some players have 2 votes (Doublevoter); some players can only cast the final vote to kill a player (Actor); cannot vote to lynch (Voteless Innocent); must delegate someone else to vote for them (Fool), or require one fewer vote to lynch (Hated Innocent). The Priest cannot place the final vote (this role is not necessarily the same as the Reanimation-role priest). The lawyer selects someone during the night, and if that person tops the lynching vote the next day, saves them (a different lawyer role releases the wills written by players killed up to that point, when she dies).

#### Public roles

• --Mayor, Judge, Sheriff, President, etc.
This role is taken in addition to the assigned role, and it endows the player with additional, overt, powers (particularly during the daytime). Empowerment can be random, but is usually made by vote. For instance, the Mayor or Sheriff can be elected each morning, and gain two lynching votes, or a Judge could moderate discussion in parliamentary fashion (to the advantage of their team). The elected President has the sole lynching vote.

### Handicapped roles

• --Murr, Drunk, Village Idiot, Teenage Werewolf, etc.
This may be a secondary role, taken in addition to the assigned role. However, it has the opposite effect, giving the bearer a handicap, like speaking only gibberish in the case of the Village Drunk, etc.
Alternatively, it may be a standard role with a particular constraint, such as the teenage werewolf, who must say the word werewolf at least once each day.

### Handicapper roles

• --Silencer, Dentist, Prostitute, Fog, etc.
The Dentist may select any other player at night, and prevent them speaking during the following day. The Silencer is a mafioso with the identical power, except that they may not silence the same player on successive days. The silenced individual wakes in the morning and is immediately instructed not to talk until the end of the day. They can still raise their hand to vote in live games (although, if they were silenced by a prostitute, they are not allowed to vote).

### Post-mortem roles

• --Dark Background, Priest, Medium, Coroner, etc.
The dark background roles are standard (mafia or innocent) except for revealing a deceptive alignment when killed. The M.E. gathers information from the killings that can help the innocents, while the Priest learns about the alignment of the dead in the same way that the Detective learns about the living. The Medium can interrogate dead players. While the coroner survives, the narrator will explain the means of death in all night kills.

### Reanimation roles

• --Reviver, Governor, Martyr, Witch, etc.
Revivers and Master Revivers are able to resurrect dead players, Master Revivers can bring the revived into their association (e.g., the Masons: see Association roles). The players resurrected by a Necromancer are converted to the Necromancer's alignment; those revived by the voodooist join a separate zombie group. The Governor can reprieve those killed during the daytime, as can the Martyr if he sacrifices himself. The Witch has a (single-use) revival potion. At night, she's shown who will die in the morning, and can choose to save them.

### Rule-immune Roles

• --Bulletproof, Oracle, Elder, etc.
The Bulletproof innocent is invulnerable at night, though usually with limits; for example, the Elder will survive the first night attack, but not the second.
The Oracle has an investigative role similar to a Seer but also has the power to talk when inactive (talking in a sleep phase is usually a rule infraction).

### Special roles

• --Baker, Chef, Village Idiot, Cobbler, etc.
The baker is on the side of the innocents. During the night, the baker gives one player a loaf of bread, potentially revealing their identity. If the baker dies, the innocents have just three nights to dispose of the mafia, or the innocents starve, and the mafia win. The Cobbler, Village Idiot, or Jester has the objective of convincing the town to kill them, or is required to vote in favor of all proposed lynchings. Sometimes, successful lynching of the Village Idiot results in the mafia being able to kill two people that night.

### Complicated roles

Additional variations exist, sometimes with even more specialized or complicated abilities. There are many special roles, and many moderators design novel roles for each game. Some commercial variants ship with blank cards to allow this customization.

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## Variations

The naming of various roles, factions, and other elements of play is theme-dependent and has limitless variation. Common alternative themes restyle the mafia as werewolves, cultists, assassins, or witches, with other roles being renamed appropriately.

Over the years, players have created Mafia variants that include additional rules. Some of these are listed here.

### Variations on the win conditions

If there are as many mafiosi as innocents in the day-phase then a mafia victory is declared immediately, under the original Mafia rules. Other variants suspend this rule, and only declare the game after every member of one faction has been eliminated: this makes the game easier to explain, and to run.

### Election variants

Nominees for lynching may be allowed to make a speech in their own defense. Usually, each player must vote, can only vote once and cannot vote for themselves. But some variants have a more complicated process of selecting players to be executed. Davidoff's original 'Mafia' allowed multiple day-time executions (per day), each needing only a plurality to action.

Voting variants abound, but any lynching usually requires an absolute majority of the electorate, or votes cast. So the voting is usually not by secret ballot for multiple candidates with the highest vote count eliminated; it is more usual for the voting to be openly resolved either by:

• A nomination or series of elections structured to ultimately offer a choice between two candidates, or
• An option to lynch (or not lynch) one suspect (with a new suspect produced if the last one survives the vote).

Deadlocked elections can be resolved by lot or by killing the player with the scapegoat special role.

The special case of one mafioso and one innocent remaining can be decided randomly or be ruled a Mafia win--this is more usual in live play.

#### Optional lynch variant

The Innocents can choose not to kill anybody during the day. Although commonly unsure of Mafia identities, the Innocents are more likely to randomly kill a mafioso than are the Mafia (at night). Therefore, not lynching anyone (even at random) will typically favor the Mafia.

However, when the number of survivors is even, No Kill may help the Innocents; for example, when three Innocents and one mafioso remain - generally called MYLO, or Mislynch and Lose due to the innocents' loss upon a lynch of their own - voting for No Lynch gives a 1/3 chance of killing the mafioso the next day, rather than a 1/4 chance today (assuming random lynching).

### Mafia killing methods

Some variants require all Mafia members to choose the same victim independently for a kill to succeed. This can be achieved in the following ways:

• By waking the Mafia members up separately.
• By calling out the names of all surviving players and requiring surviving mafiosi to raise their hands when the name of the victim is called out. In this variant, the mafiosi only "wake up" (open their eyes) at the very beginning of the game when they identify each other. This variant also allows other roles to take their actions by simply raising their hands when their target's name is called out.
• By having them write their kills. Under this variant, Innocent players write the word 'honest' on a piece of paper; Mafia members write the name of a player for elimination. If all the mafia notes have the same name on them, that player is considered killed by the Mafia.

In some online versions of the game, a particular player (the Godfather or a designated mafioso) must send in the kill.

Another variant requires the night-time vote to be secret and unanimous, but allows multiple players to be added to the execution queue to ensure unanimity.

### Multiple families

Multiple, independent groups of mafia or werewolves act and win independently, giving faster game-play and the potential for cross-fire between the factions.

### Attributes

In this variant, players are given two cards: the first contains their role, the second an attribute. Attributes were originally derived from roles that could apply to both Mafia and Innocent alignments such as Bulletproof (cannot be killed at night), Mayor (has two votes in the lynch), and Siamese Twins (more commonly known as Siblings or Lovers).

### Quantum Werewolf

This variant was developed by Steven Irrgang and used for a puzzle in the 2008 CISRA Puzzle Competition. The difference from a standard game of Mafia is that players are not initially assigned roles, but rather on each day are given the probabilities describing the game's current quantum state. Each player with a non-zero probability of being a seer or a werewolf performs the appropriate night actions (which may not be effective if it is later determined that the player did not have that role). When a player is killed, the wave function collapses and the players are given updated probabilities.

### Train Mafia

Traditional Mafia re-envisioned and heavily modified by the Copenhagen Game Collective to be played in a subway metro. In this variation, players who are 'lynched' are kicked off the train (at the next stop), and must wait in shame for the following train - a kind of 'afterlife' train - to join a second, interwoven game.

### Invisible City: Rebels vs. Spies

A location-based mobile gaming variant for Android, designed for city center play. The two factions are: the Rebels, the majority; and the Spies, the informed minority. The rule-set replaces expulsions with scoring by round. Each player is assigned an individual mission each round. Some missions are critical and if one of those fails, the round goes to the Spies, but only one player knows which missions are critical.

### One Night Ultimate Werewolf

In this standalone game published by Bezier Games, players only "sleep" and close their eyes for a single night at the beginning of the game. They then have a single day of discussion, with a single lynching. No players are eliminated as the game progresses. There is no moderator, so everyone gets to participate as a member of the town or village. When playing this game, three more role cards are used than the number of players; when everyone is randomly dealt out their card the three extra ones placed in the middle of the table. To begin the game one of the players, with eyes closed, will act as the "caller" on the single starting night, going through the nighttime roles once: Werewolves and Masons (if in play) will identify each other, the Seer will examine one player's card or two of the middle cards, the Robber will steal another player's role card and replace it with their own, the Troublemaker will blindly swap two players' role cards, the Insomniac wakes up to check if their role card has been swapped, etc. The game ends on a single lynching vote, with the villagers winning if a single werewolf is caught, and the werewolves winning if no werewolves are killed. This game can be played with as few as three players. Play time can be as quick as five minutes per game

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## Online play

Mafia can also be played online. Games can be played on IRC channels, where a bot assumes the role of a game moderator and the interaction of players is conducted via textual communication. Being that IRC is not a widespread way of communication, these Mafia games are restricted to limited number of people. Since 2008, many other Mafia game sites were formed. These sites are attempts at reproducing the live Mafia games, and the duration and the mechanics of the games are about the same as when the game is played traditionally.

Playing mafia-like games online opens a possibility long lasting games, such as the ones on forums. In such games, one day in real life usually corresponds to one day within the game, so players log in each morning to see who was killed during the night phase.

The online games have several advantages. There is no need to gather many people in the same room, so organizing and playing a game of Mafia is faster and more convenient. Removing the human moderator and the need for players to close their eyes removes the possibility of accidental reveals of information. Online play also allows role mechanics which would be too cumbersome to use in a physical version of the game.

A drawback of online play is the lack of direct face-to-face communication, which many consider the most important aspect of Mafia. Some sites organize Mafia games with web cams, so that the face-to-face communication is preserved. The long lasting online mafia games that are usually played via online forums do not necessarily have this drawback. It is merely a correlation that people who communicate via forums usually do not know each other in real life.

In a traditional Mafia game, all of the players are in one room. There is no way to communicate with another player in private. With online games, this is not the case. Many Mafia game forums and game sites have rules that mandate that only one channel of communication must be used for all game related discussion. Thus forbidding the use of alternative channels for discussing the game. These rules are obviously only declarative as there is no way of enforcing them efficiently. It is especially difficult to enforce such prohibiting rules during long games on players that communicate with each other in person in real life. All forums support different kind of game setups, so it is feasible to organize a forum game without the restrictions on private messaging.

Private communication problem comes to light especially in trying to prevent "dead" players from participating in the game. Most online games consider this a breach of rules. Since, in general case, this breach of rules cannot be proven, the gameplay of most sites depends heavily on players' honesty and integrity.

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• Assassin (game)
• Bang! (card game)
• The Resistance (game)
• Secret Hitler (game)
• Wink murder
• Ultimate Werewolf
• The Werewolves of Millers Hollow

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## Notes

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## References

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