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Thread: I am Dimma Davidoff, the creator of Mafia game. Ask me anything.

  1. ISO #1

    I am Dimma Davidoff, the creator of Mafia game. Ask me anything.

    Hi everybody!

    Thanks to Thingyman for the invitation to your Mafia Universe. I have not used forums for a while, so please forgive me for being a little rusty.

    Anyway, 30 years ago I was teaching a psychology class and was really disappointed that students did not participate much. I would talk like 99% of the time. So, I was starting to think how to reverse that ratio. Mafia game was the answer to that quest.

    Now I live in Boston and continue to study and teach psychology (and how to play Mafia =)

  2. ISO #2
    Have you played forum mafia?

    (if so) How does it compare to playing it in real life?
    Last edited by Visorslash; November 20th, 2017 at 12:35 AM.

  3. ISO #3
    Billy GOAT Gruff billymills's Avatar
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    Have you ever been contacted by a real mafia family?

  4. ISO #4
    A Girl of Many Names Alette's Avatar
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    Thanks for making forum mafia.
    lutelikesleviathans: I know it's hard for you
    ??
    ??????????
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  5. ISO #5
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    Is a hot dog a sandwich?

  6. ISO #6
    ༼ つ ;-; ༽つ give town rand Dp101's Avatar Moderator
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    What was the inspiration for the concept of mafia? Were there other games featuring hidden information that inspired you?

  7. ISO #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alette (#4)
    Thanks for making forum mafia.
    This isn’t a question

  8. ISO #8
    A Girl of Many Names Alette's Avatar
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    What type of music do you like?
    lutelikesleviathans: I know it's hard for you
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    "I'm just going to $#@!." -Walrein 2017

    ~ Chocolate Insomnia~

  9. ISO #9
    I never played mafia online. At first, I was sure that Mafia dynamics would not translate well online unless it is a somewhat complete VR. But very fast players proved me wrong, and I understood that any (even limited) communication space is enough to play Mafia. Still - never played one not in RL.

  10. ISO #10
    Most Likely Asleep Secondhand Revenant's Avatar
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    Is it a game you play often irl?
    Come wayward souls,
    Who wander through the darkness,
    There is a light for the lost and the meek.

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    I'm not accusing you of meta

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  11. ISO #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#7)
    Quote Originally Posted by Alette (#4)
    Thanks for making forum mafia.
    This isn’t a question
    This isn't a question either!

    Thanks for this awesome game Dimma ^^

    How much games have you played yourself?

    Do you suggest playing this game to others or not?

  12. ISO #12
    From Sicily? Nope. But one of the inspiration for the game was an Italian tv-show about "Real Mafia" - La Piovra.

  13. ISO #13
    Billy GOAT Gruff billymills's Avatar
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    I'm interested in teaching mafia for psychology. I've played some team games derived from mafia and found the skills transferable to organizing and politics. I think also it's one of the few ways I've learned to identify lies.

    Do you think mafia and similar games could be distilled to present opportunities for teaching kids (before high school) logic, strategy, and politics?

    How do you distill mafia into a short enough game that it can be used to teach in class? (I find a lot of new and different things in each game, it seems difficult to build a game towards an outcome, and each game takes quite a while. )
    Last edited by billymills; November 20th, 2017 at 12:50 AM.

  14. ISO #14
    ༼ つ ;-; ༽つ give town rand Dp101's Avatar Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimma Davidoff (#12)
    From Sicily? Nope. But one of the inspiration for the game was an Italian tv-show about "Real Mafia" - La Piovra.
    Hey, just so you know, if you click the "reply with quote" button on a post, it will show the post in your post, to make it more clear which question you are answering.

  15. ISO #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#5)
    Is a hot dog a sandwich?
    Of course, it is a Hawaiian tradition.

  16. ISO #16
    Are you familiar with me WW/Magia strats and theories?
    I will not be blackmailed by some ineffectual, privileged, effete, soft-penis debutante. You wanna start a street fight with me, bring it on, but you're gonna be surprised by how ugly it gets. You don't even know my real name. I'm the $#@!ing Lizard King.

  17. ISO #17
    it's been fun Cuthalion's Avatar
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    When you play mafia in real life, do you prefer to be a member of the uninformed majority or the informed minority? Why?

  18. ISO #18
    What do you think about the myriad of roles/setups that have arisen in mafia?

    what setup of mafia do you tend to play the most IRL?

    Have you ever read a game of forum mafia before?

    Have you read any of the mafia championships that have been hosted here?

    Would you be open to playing a game with us here some time?

    Do you use mafia as a teaching tool in your classes?
    Last edited by theknightsofneeee; November 20th, 2017 at 01:08 AM.

  19. ISO #19
    Also, have you ever seen/heard of/played skype video mafia before?

    If so, have you ever seen/watched Super Mafia All Stars on twitch.tv?

  20. ISO #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dp101 (#6)
    What was the inspiration for the concept of mafia? Were there other games featuring hidden information that inspired you?
    This is a very complicated question as it turned out. Short answer - Vygotsky's theory was the inspirational framework for Mafia game.

    Actually, in my head it was rejection of "hidden information" which give birth to Mafia game. At first, I was trying to give few students 'a common hidden information' and asked others to guess what it was. Suddenly, I realized that it doesn't matter what they know as long as only they know they are together.

    My second game was based on Turing game, which is an ultimate hidden information game (I did not know about Turing at that time, and just read a sci-fi version of his experiment as a child). If you look from a certain angle, Turing game is kinda Mafia for three people.

    Thanks for the tip about quoting - I figured it out myself eventually.
    Last edited by Dimma Davidoff; November 20th, 2017 at 01:51 AM.

  21. ISO #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Alette (#8)
    What type of music do you like?
    Anything good.

  22. ISO #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen Angel (#11)
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#7)
    Quote Originally Posted by Alette (#4)
    Thanks for making forum mafia.
    This isn’t a question
    This isn't a question either!

    Thanks for this awesome game Dimma ^^

    How much games have you played yourself?

    Do you suggest playing this game to others or not?
    You welcome! And thanks for playing it!

    I played a lot of Mafia games. Though for the first ten or so years I was always killed first. Even so, I do suggest to play the game to others - it is great fun and more!

  23. ISO #23
    Do you ever play with power roles (like cop, vigilante and so on), and if so, what do you like to play?

  24. ISO #24
    Quote Originally Posted by billymills (#13)
    I'm interested in teaching mafia for psychology. I've played some team games derived from mafia and found the skills transferable to organizing and politics. I think also it's one of the few ways I've learned to identify lies.

    Do you think mafia and similar games could be distilled to present opportunities for teaching kids (before high school) logic, strategy, and politics?

    How do you distill mafia into a short enough game that it can be used to teach in class? (I find a lot of new and different things in each game, it seems difficult to build a game towards an outcome, and each game takes quite a while. )
    Mafia is already widely used to teach kids and adults in different contexts. Check out 'teaching guides for Mafia/Werewolf' online. I have seen quite few of them. Harvard Business School have a popular class based on it.

    Six players game with 4 citizens and 2 Mafia is not that long (though it DEPENDS =) and provide everything as a teaching material.

  25. ISO #25
    Quote Originally Posted by ReddBoiler (#16)
    Are you familiar with me WW/Magia strats and theories?
    Nope.

  26. ISO #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Cuthalion (#17)
    When you play mafia in real life, do you prefer to be a member of the uninformed majority or the informed minority? Why?
    Usually, noobs like to play Mafia, but of course - uninformed have freedom of mistake - that's much more harder and fun.

  27. ISO #27
    Quote Originally Posted by theknightsofneeee (#18)
    What do you think about the myriad of roles/setups that have arisen in mafia?

    what setup of mafia do you tend to play the most IRL?

    Have you ever read a game of forum mafia before?

    Have you read any of the mafia championships that have been hosted here?

    Would you be open to playing a game with us here some time?

    Do you use mafia as a teaching tool in your classes?
    Thanks for questions!

    I still prefer my simple original setup for many reasons, but I do enjoy all twisted roles players are making. It did create the whole diverse Mafia multiverse cultures.

    I did read parts of forum Mafia games before, but not on this site. I did not thought about playing here, but may be some time.

    Sure, I use Mafia and other games if needed. If, I teach psychology of games, it is hard to avoid.

  28. ISO #28
    Quote Originally Posted by theknightsofneeee (#19)
    Also, have you ever seen/heard of/played skype video mafia before?

    If so, have you ever seen/watched Super Mafia All Stars on twitch.tv?
    I have heard it is played on skype and twitch.tv, but never actually seen it.

  29. ISO #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Secondhand Revenant (#10)
    Is it a game you play often irl?
    Not often, but I still do.

  30. ISO #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Visorslash (#23)
    Do you ever play with power roles (like cop, vigilante and so on), and if so, what do you like to play?
    I try to avoid power roles - the whole point of Mafia for me is how to take away power (from those "who in the know" = informed minority).

  31. ISO #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimma Davidoff (#15)
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#5)
    Is a hot dog a sandwich?
    Of course, it is a Hawaiian tradition.
    But...
    but...
    The bun is one piece while a sandwich has a non connected outer layer

  32. ISO #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#31)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimma Davidoff (#15)
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#5)
    Is a hot dog a sandwich?
    Of course, it is a Hawaiian tradition.
    But...
    but...
    The bun is one piece while a sandwich has a non connected outer layer
    .. but a pita sandwich is not a hot dog?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimma Davidoff (#32)
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#31)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dimma Davidoff (#15)
    Quote Originally Posted by Champ (#5)
    Is a hot dog a sandwich?
    Of course, it is a Hawaiian tradition.
    But...
    but...
    The bun is one piece while a sandwich has a non connected outer layer
    .. but a pita sandwich is not a hot dog?
    Alright agree to disagree haha

  34. ISO #34
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    I'm bad with questions, but do come play with us

  35. ISO #35
    Calculated. bopolis's Avatar
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    When you created the mafia game how was it originally setup (# of players, how many mafia, etc)?

    Have you seen some of the setups/roles that are made for some of the online large mafia games(50+ players), if so what do you think about how what you originally created has evolved/changed into for these larger setups.

    Last question, how do you describe the game when asked "What's mafia?" I have a hard time succinctly describing it and basically tell someone its an internet(how i play it) game where you yell at each other; that description doesn't really translate the intricacies of the game.
    Last edited by bopolis; November 20th, 2017 at 02:39 AM.

  36. ISO #36
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    Hey! Thanks for inventing this game!

    A few questions:

    1. What do you think you and your students learned about psychology or anything at all from playing Mafia?
    2. Can you explain more about how the original Mafia is like a Turing game?
    3. Do you know how Mafia became a worldwide phenomenon since the time that you invented it?
    4. Do you see any potential for more learning through further development of the game in a classroom setting? Or, at what point does it cease being a teaching tool and become a party game as it's most often played?

    Thanks in advance!
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    Bored (Excerpt)

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  37. ISO #37
    The Self Narrator Owner Of A Lonely Heart's Avatar
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  38. ISO #38
    tokophobe lute's Avatar Head Moderator
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    I'm not good with questions so I'll echo the sentiment of everyone else and say thank you once more for creating this game!
    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floor of silent seas

  39. ISO #39
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Thank you so much for doing this, Dimma.

    1. Have you ever considered writing a book on mafia, or would you potentially be interested in at least co-authoring or in some way contributing to such a project?

    2. What do you think about the Russian film they made last year, based on mafia? I believe you consulted on it.

    3. Mafia has already become very big worldwide, but as a fan I want it to be even bigger and even more well-known. What do you think or hope will or should happen to make the game more well-known? Is there anything that a site of fans (like this one) could do or that you'd want us to try and do?

  40. ISO #40
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Also, do you happen to be currently involved with any mafia "projects" (of any kind), or do you have information on any upcoming mafia "projects" or events or anything that would be okay to share?

  41. ISO #41
    Thread Analyst polygone's Avatar
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    How many players would you typically recommend a game of mafia be played with?

    And thanks for building the simple and elegant mechanics of mafia! None of these fancy setups we have now would be possible without them, and I quite appreciate having them.
    You're not a good person. You know that, right?


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    Mafia is superior to the name werewolf, isn't it?

  43. ISO #43
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra (#42)
    Mafia is superior to the name werewolf, isn't it?
    What's the weirdest name for the game you've ever stumbled upon?

  44. ISO #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman (#43)
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra (#42)
    Mafia is superior to the name werewolf, isn't it?
    What's the weirdest name for the game you've ever stumbled upon?
    Murder in Palermo

  45. ISO #45
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    lol

    to be clear, the question was directed at Dimma :P

  46. ISO #46
    What's the most impressive play you've seen whilst playing/hosting/watching mafia?

  47. ISO #47
    Thread Analyst Souren Araya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingyman (#45)
    lol

    to be clear, the question was directed at Dimma :P
    I am aware, but I am actually interested as well what names mafia has on other places. As far as I know Murder in Palermo is the most obscure I know. Maybe a thread where people can list what they know is mafia called in other communities?

  48. ISO #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Sooh (#34)
    I'm bad with questions, but do come play with us
    Thanks for invitation! Does being "bad with questions" interfere with you Mafia game style?

  49. ISO #49
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimma Davidoff (#48)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sooh (#34)
    I'm bad with questions, but do come play with us
    Thanks for invitation! Does being "bad with questions" interfere with you Mafia game style?

  50. ISO #50
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    How good are you on a scale of 1 to 10 at a) finding mafia as a townie

    b) avoiding being lynched as a scum?

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