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Fannish idea-virus crosses into NYC literary society

9
Andrew PlotkinPerson was signed in when posted
01-01-2003
01:15 PM ET (US)
This is my rules write-up.
The basic rules are the same as on the Princeton page. There is general
disagreement on how many of each type of player is the ideal mix.
And, of course, an infinite number of variations.
8
Mike M WestPerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
10:00 PM ET (US)
It seemed that a few of the Clarion reunion folk could join right in with the current group this summer so it does indeed go back some time there.
mmw
7
Pat YorkPerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
06:58 PM ET (US)
I learned it from Samual R. Delaney during a writing class at S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo in 1999. He told us who taught it to him but I'll be damned if I can remember.
6
Zed LopezPerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
04:39 PM ET (US)
Alan DeNiro introduced Mafia to Clarion 1998 (of which I was another participant and Jonathan Lethem was one of the instructiors.) It's spread like wildfire since.
5
Sketch33Person was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
04:15 PM ET (US)
Hey. I had never head of this before and it peaked my interest so I did a search to try and find an actual set of rules to play the game by and came up with this: http://www.princeton.edu/~mafia/rules.htm

Can anyone familiar with the game let me know if there is a better source for the rules?
4
erniePerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
03:58 PM ET (US)
It sounds really fun, but if the games get that heated and emotional, what keeps people from peeking during the night? Seems like that would ruin it, no?
3
Patrick Nielsen HaydenPerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
03:49 PM ET (US)
Certainly Mafia was burning up Readercon as far back as 1996 and 1997. And it's been a Clarion thing for some years.
2
Jim TreacherPerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
01:43 PM ET (US)
How fucking creepy.
1
Andrew PlotkinPerson was signed in when posted
12-31-2002
01:28 PM ET (US)
So, does anyone know how the meme entered fandom?

I've been teaching the game to gamer-types for several years now. I learned Mafia at a National Puzzlers' League convention in 1997. However, I had a whim to rename the game "Werewolf" -- after all, werewolves are bloodthirsty (the Mob just wants your business!) and werewolves look just like villagers during the day. It seemed to fit the theme better.

Now, there's plenty of overlap between gamers and fandom. So if you were at Balticon in 2002, you would have seen Werewolf games running until 4 AM. On the other hand, if your conspecifics are calling it Mafia, that implies they didn't learn it from people who know me.

I'm interested in the memetic history here. :)

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