I may just have the next werewolf

I have playing with playing cards most of the night. Seems while I was sleeping that I came up with a card game which seems to be like werewolf/mafia but very different. I was reading up about game theory to see if it fit in one of the categories and it seems to fit into reciprocal altruism which is nicely exemplified with file sharing.

Another potential example would be the Internet file sharing communities. The ability to download (receive) a given file (an economic good) directly depends on other people who already possess the same file and share it through allowing uploading it to those who want it (a process which is also called seeding). Those who receive the file and later refuse to share it with others (through seeding) are known as leeches. However, there are methods to ban leechers, ie to deny them further participation in the file sharing network.

I don't want to come across like its totally tied down but the game seems pretty fun and could work with groups as big as 40 or as small as 12. Some other people have spoke to in the past have talked about the notion of a 3rd entity like the vampires. Well although we've not tried it out, I do worry it will just be chaos and there not enough to go on to make it worth doing. Plus vampires would be like a 2nd team of werewolves.

So forgetting vampires, my game is like werewolf as in there is a night and day phase but its more like a change of location with certain characters not being able to see or hear. The moderator/god/voice of the game is required to do a lot more in this game in regards to whos who. It may even require two or a piece of paper. The social notion of cheating and saying whatever you like is still there and is a major part of the game but now there's more emphases on altruism. You also don't need special cards for this game, a standard pack of 52 will scale up to 44 players I worked out. The suits, numbers and royality cards are very important for the game. And I did consider upping the numbers using the joker cards but it got very constrictive. Of course the game works well with drink too. The closes game I can find to the core idea of the game is this invented game called anandis.

I tried to do some probability calculations on who would win depending on how many of each character but it was beyond me. No what I really need is a Card game simulator. Maybe once I get a feel for the maths behind the game, I will write up a complete set of rules and release it to the world under a creative commons attribution licence or something.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.