I'm a teacher in Nanjing, China. This is a game I'd played back home
in England - it's kind of wink murder with an added twist! It works
best with groups of under about 15 people, although might work with
more if most students are relatively vocal. Anyway, here goes.
First, write one of 4 things on enough pieces of paper that each
person gets one. Depending on numbers 3/4 will be Mafia, 1 Policeman,
1 Doctor and all the rest will say Citizen. Give each group member a
part and explain that no one else is to know who is who as tha aim of
the game is to root out the "mafia" from amongst the "citizens".
Expalin that at night a the mafia will kill someone, the doctor will
save someone and the policeman will investigate/ find out about someone.
Ok. Tell everyone to close their eyes. Say something like: "Citizens of
___ go to sleep". Next invite the mafia, and only the mafia to wake
up. Between them the members of the mafia will "kill" one of the
group. Get them to agree on and point to their victim. Tell them to
go back to sleep. Next ask the doctor to wake up. Ask him who he
wants to save, again asking that it be communicated through gestures.
Should the person being killed and the person being saved be one and
the same, the murder will have been averted and so the process will
have to begin again. Finally wake the policeman up. He will point
to the person he's investigating and you will either nod indicating
yes that person is mafia, or shake your head, no they're not.
Finally ask them all to wake up. Say something like: "Last night in
___, there was a brutal and bloody murder and _____ was killed. We
know that 4 people among you are members of the mafia and responsible
for this murder. Citizens who do you want to accuse?"
It'll take a few minutes to catch on that it could be anyone and the
accusations will begin. "I accuse X because he has a wonky moustache"
or some such. X will then have to defend himself. Nobody is to
admitt to being mafia and they will soon catch on that it is either
the loudest people who are accusing everyone, or the quietest that
don't want to draw attention to themselves, that are guilty. As each
accusation is made and the individual makes his defense a group
decision will need to be made on whether or not to send that person to
prison. Ask everyone to vote and the majority decision sticks. Once
they get sent to "prison" ask them if there were in fact mafia or not
at which point they must tell the truth. As each person gets sent
down or at appropriate intervals, stop the proceedings as another day
ends, and a new night and a new murder occur..
Expalin that both the Policeman and Doctor are allowed to tell what
they know, but also expalin that a crafy mafia member might lie and
say he's the policeman to try to point the finger away from himself.
The Mafia may also accuse one another, as each person is only really
concerned to keep themselves out of prison. Also one a peron is dead,
or has been sent down they are no longer permitted to participate as
they may know, or think they know things. The mafia are likely to
kill anyone they feel is on to them. There's no set pattern to how
the discussion should go just let them argue it out among themselves,
giving advice if and when you feel it's necessary.
It sounds more complicated than it is, but is definately a lot of fun,
and gets the students practising speaking in English! Don't let them
lapse back into their mother tongue, and try to maintain some level of
control over proceedings!
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