Last night at Childwall Valley Youth Centre, the Mafia were in town….
Mafia is a group game played with cards. The group leader (The Sheriff) picks out the same number of cards from a normal deck as there are members in the group, shuffles them and then each person picks a card without looking at them. Most of the cards are number cards but one is a Queen. Whoever ends up with the Queen is the Mafia! Everyone closes their eyes as the people of the ‘town’ go to sleep; when the Sheriff says so, the Mafia opens their eyes and indicates who in the town they want to ‘kill’! When the morning comes, the people of the town who survived the night must decide who they think the Mafia is and evict them from the town. If they get it right, no one else will die the next night: if they are wrong, then there will be more deaths – and a person has been wrongfully chased out of the town!
It was a lively session with strenuous debate after every ‘death’ as to who was responsible. It must be said that, on the whole, we as a group were collectively wrong and evicted the wrong people from the town, allowing the Mafia to carry on! There were several elaborate and dramatic ‘deaths’ which added some real drama to the game and showcased some fine acting talent! Once we had a handle on the game when there was only one Mafia, we played with more and more Mafia – until everyone was under suspicion!
The group were able to develop debating skills, work on group discussion skills and practice performance skills as everyone tried to outwit each other, protesting their innocence or performing elaborate ‘deaths’ when they were targeted!
A big well done to the group who all played with such enthusiasm – and a certain amount of ruthlessness!