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Subject: Idea for dissociative disorder party game rss

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Ben Friedberg
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Ok, so here's my idea: a party game where each player is a part the fractured psyche of a central character. We'll call this central character 'Pat'.

Each player's goal is to become Pat's dominant personality. This is achieved by becoming the most influential personality in the group.

At the start of the game, each player is given an equal number of 'a' and 'b' cards in their color and starts at 0 personality points (Pat is, after all, a blank slate). The number of cards is up for debate, but I would think something like 15 or 20 of each.

For each round of the game, a card is drawn which indicates some sort of decision. It could be ethical, moral, funny, anything really. Each decision has an 'a' or 'b' answer and, ideally, represents some sort of facet of personality.

Each player then plays one of their colored yes or no card face down, representing the decision that they would make. All players reveal their cards simultaneously. The a's are placed in one pile and the b's in another.

Each player then selects ANY number of their a AND/OR b cards and adds them to a central deck face DOWN. This deck is then completely shuffled and the top card is drawn. All players who had chosen the same letter get one personality point. The player who's winning vote was chosen gets two personality points. At this point, all of the cards used in the VOTE are taken out of the game. The idea is that the a and b choices are limited and that 'stuffing the ballot' box early on will be better for you in the short term, but will hurt you later on (think bidding for turn order in El Grande). The game ends when one player reaches 10 personality points and wins the game. If there is a tie, the player with the most remaining vote cards wins because he or she is the more 'powerful' personality.

As additional ideas, I was thinking about maybe having people draw random personalities based on celebrities or historical / political figures so that the decisions that were being made would be more extreme (hitler vs mother theresa, for instance).

Strategically, I like the idea of the vote and how people may end up on the same side of different players throughout the game. Also how a player might actually vote AGAINST themselves so as to prevent other leading players from gaining points... Does this mechanic exist elsewhere to any degree of success? I thought of the Wallenstein tower and actually considered cubes in a brain-themed dice-tower instead of shuffling vote cards together. Maybe just in a brain bag...

So.... Does this sound at all fun? Obviously, the most important part is making the decisions interesting. Would it be more fun if each player got a turn to write their OWN decision question in turn? Maybe a fill-in-the-blank style like 'Say Anything' where the the situation was pre-written but two players each turn would submit their own answers that all of the players would choose between.

Any prior art that you all can think of?

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Spencer C
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Aside from the potentially dicey subject matter [I don't personally have a problem with it, but I could see the PC Police bearing down on you], this sounds like a very interesting idea for a party game.

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Chris Schenck
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The personality thing doesn't pull my interest at all, to be honest. I'm not offended by it; it's just not a particularly compelling theme for me.

The exact same mechanics could be used for a political game, where the players represent differing ideologies (socialism, fascism, capitalism, etc...) and the use of the "historical figures" would take on even more impact -- to me at least.
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Gary Simpson

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Each player then selects ANY number of their a AND/OR b cards and adds them to a central deck face DOWN.


So what would happen if I put ALL of my a & b cards in on the first round?

Is there a difference between the A/B cards and the YES/NO cards?
 
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Chris J Davis
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Although it sounds like it could be a fun party game, I don't quite understand the rules clearly enough. In particular, I don't understand the connection between the first vote and the second vote/ballot/draw. Could you explain a little clearer, please?
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Benny Sperling
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As a mental health counselor, I can honestly say I find the idea humourous. But you would need the right group. I had fun playing a group game at a conference where we all got to act out various mood disorders and others who have to guess what disorder we were acting out. As far as subject matter goes, multiple personalities are VERY rare. This doesn't mean that people wouldn't be interested in the game, just that from a direct mental health perspective they are unusual and when they are encountered it is due to a traumatic event from childhood.
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Ben Friedberg
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Sorry, I had originally broken the decisions down by yes/no and one of those stayed in there. ALL cards are broken down by 'a' and 'b' and by color.

bleached_lizard, the first vote indicates which side (a or b) your character sides with. If you choose 'a', then you get a point if 'a' wins the second vote and two points if it is one of your votes that was the winning draw. The second vote is powered by everyone putting in some number of cards. The number of cards that they use increases their chances of winning in relation to the total number of cards entered. Here is a sample round in the middle of the game:

4 players with (current score):
Adolf (4 points)
Theresa (5 points)
Dr. Darwin (2 points)
Honest Abe (7 points)

The following decision card is drawn:
"A bird flies into your window and breaks its wing. Do you:
a. nurse it back to health
b. let it die"

Adolf says "Ja, I vould let it die. It vas ze veeker animal" - he votes 'b'
Dr. Darwin says "Unfortunately, I would have to side with the monster to my left. The bird must be sacrificed for the greater good of the flock" - he votes 'b' as well
Theresa says "We are all God's creatures and should never look down on one weaker or less fortunate" - she votes 'a'
Abe says "No one, not even an animal should be judged by it's circumstances" - he votes 'a'

In the bidding round:
Adolf plays 2 'b' cards
Dr. Darwin plays 4 'b' cards in the hopes of gaining the bonus for being picked as the winning vote.
Honest Abe plays 1 'a' card since he used most of his other cards ensuring his current high score.
Theresa knows that Abe will probably play an 'a' card to get ahead and that Adolf and Dr. Darwin have played a total of 6 cards, almost certainly all 'b's. With 6 to 1 odds, Theresa decides to play a single 'b' card (against her personality's better judgement) so as to deny Abe any additional points and to possibly save some of here 'a' voting cards, if that stack is running low.

The bidding cards are shuffled and, by luck, Theresa's 'b' card is drawn. For that round, Theresa receives 2 points for winning the round (even though she had not originally sided with the 'b' answer) and both Adolf and Dr. Darwin receive 1 point. Abe receives nothing and glowers at Theresa for her betrayal.

At the end of the round, the score is:
Adolf (5 points)
Theresa (7 points)
Dr. Darwin (4 points)
Honest Abe (7 points)

Does that make more sense how the flow and some of the potential strategy would work?
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Ben Friedberg
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gsimpson wrote:
Quote:
Each player then selects ANY number of their a AND/OR b cards and adds them to a central deck face DOWN.


So what would happen if I put ALL of my a & b cards in on the first round?

Is there a difference between the A/B cards and the YES/NO cards?


Sorry again about the yes/no sneaking in. If you put ALL of your a and b cards in, you would be an idiot. :D You would at MOST make 2 points and it would preclude you from future voting in the game as well as any additional plays. The IDEA is that you are working with limited resources and need to hand-manage.
 
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Ben Friedberg
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UanarchyK wrote:
Aside from the potentially dicey subject matter [I don't personally have a problem with it, but I could see the PC Police bearing down on you], this sounds like a very interesting idea for a party game.

:thumbsup:


Is it really that dicey? I was under the impression that it didn't REALLY happen. you know, like bonk-on-the-head amnesia...
 
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Gary Simpson

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If you put ALL of your a and b cards in, you would be an idiot. You would at MOST make 2 points and it would preclude you from future voting in the game as well as any additional plays.


Regardless of mental integrity, players should have a safeguard against themselves. If someone tries this method as a strategy and fails at it, is he going to look favorably on the design for letting him fall flat within the first round?
 
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Spencer C
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So it is better in this game to be lucky than to play well?

I wonder if awarding the person whose card happens to be selected twice the points of those whose answer was selected is really enhancing the game?

Also, it seems the player to go last has a huge advantage if they get to know how many cards the other players have put in. ie, by knowing the total number of cards already in the deck, whether or not you want to play to any and how many is easily decided for you.

Furthermore, it surely behooves one to always go with the majority for their initial selection of answer.

Making both of these things secret, however, would solve these problems.
 
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Ben Friedberg
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point taken. maybe require that at least ONE of each card be left in your hand so that you can always vote? that would make the strategy SOMEWHAT viable, since you would be be guaranteed one point on the first vote and have a 50/50 chance on the future votes.
 
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Chris J Davis
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benfriedberg1981 wrote:
..rules...


Thanks, yes - that helps a lot. One last question, though - exactly which cards are discarded afterwards? The ones for the vote, or the ones for the raffle (or both)?
 
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Chris J Davis
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gsimpson wrote:
Quote:
If you put ALL of your a and b cards in, you would be an idiot. You would at MOST make 2 points and it would preclude you from future voting in the game as well as any additional plays.


Regardless of mental integrity, players should have a safeguard against themselves. If someone tries this method as a strategy and fails at it, is he going to look favorably on the design for letting him fall flat within the first round?


I agree with this. There's never any harm in making a game idiot-proof. Maybe limit the max number of raffles you can put in to three?
 
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Ben Friedberg
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UanarchyK wrote:
So it is better in this game to be lucky than to play well?

I wonder if awarding the person whose card happens to be selected twice the points of those whose answer was selected is really enhancing the game?

Also, it seems the player to go last has a huge advantage if they get to know how many cards the other players have put in. ie, by knowing the total number of cards already in the deck, whether or not you want to play to any and how many is easily decided for you.

Furthermore, it surely behooves one to always go with the majority for their initial selection of answer.

Making both of these things secret, however, would solve these problems.


I agree on making the votes a secret. For the first vote, I think that all players should play a face DOWN decision and reveal simultaneously. For the second vote, it might make the most sense to use cubes in a bag. I think at that point, the wallenstein tower would be a really fun (but ultimately gimicky) way of picking a winning vote.

As far as being lucky, maybe reward the person with the MOST votes on the winning side 2 pts rather than the person who's vote 'counted'?
 
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Ben Friedberg
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only the raffle cards / cubes (see other comments) would be discarded.
 
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Ben Friedberg
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bleached_lizard wrote:
gsimpson wrote:
Quote:
If you put ALL of your a and b cards in, you would be an idiot. :D You would at MOST make 2 points and it would preclude you from future voting in the game as well as any additional plays.


Regardless of mental integrity, players should have a safeguard against themselves. If someone tries this method as a strategy and fails at it, is he going to look favorably on the design for letting him fall flat within the first round?


I agree with this. There's never any harm in making a game idiot-proof. Maybe limit the max number of raffles you can put in to three?


I think that I would prefer to simply limit the players to having to have the ability to still vote. I like the 'all in' idea in terms of possible risk. It would be foolish at the beginning of the game, but I could see it being useful at the end for a last-ditch point grab. Separating the cards used in the first vote and the components (cards or cubes) used for the second would accomplish this...
 
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Spencer C
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Surely the best strategy is to put in the minimum so that you get that many more opportunities after your fellow players have exhausted their cards?
 
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Chris J Davis
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UanarchyK wrote:
Surely the best strategy is to put in the minimum so that you get that many more opportunities after your fellow players have exhausted their cards?


This is why I think it should be limited 1-3. It means that it will still be a hand management game, but that the players will need to know how to distribute their "1" votes vs their "3" votes of the course of the game. It will prevent any players from maxing out too soon and prevent the situation you describe.
 
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darksurtur
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benny275 wrote:
As a mental health counselor, I can honestly say I find the idea humourous. But you would need the right group. I had fun playing a group game at a conference where we all got to act out various mood disorders and others who have to guess what disorder we were acting out. As far as subject matter goes, multiple personalities are VERY rare. This doesn't mean that people wouldn't be interested in the game, just that from a direct mental health perspective they are unusual and when they are encountered it is due to a traumatic event from childhood.


To add to this, there is at least one faction of experts that argues that multiple personality syndrome/dissociative identity disorder is not a real condition, and then when symptoms are exhibited, they are feigned, either unconsciously or deliberately, in order to attract and maintain increased attention from doctors/health practitioners.
 
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Benny Sperling
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darksurtur wrote:
To add to this, there is at least one faction of experts that argues that multiple personality syndrome/dissociative identity disorder is not a real condition, and then when symptoms are exhibited, they are feigned, either unconsciously or deliberately, in order to attract and maintain increased attention from doctors/health practitioners.


Yes indeed, most of the mental health community would say that such a disorder does not actually exist. The reigning consensus is basically that. However, there have been cases where an alternate personality is developed, usually only one, in cases of extreme trauma in childhood. Again, this is VERY VERY rare. So rare in fact that it is barely a blip on the radar of most mental health workers, I've never met one in my 10 years in the field so that should say something. But I think it's a great idea of a game, go for it, just remember that there may be about 100 people in the world who will hate you for making a game about them.
 
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Whoa - pull over, PC Police here.

I don’t think the theme is very nice. What might be hilarious to some people is actually a curse to others. As a mentally ill person who deals with problems like collecting data from towels and seeing evil faces on doorknobs and stuff like this every day and has no control over it because the medicine doesn't work, why would I want to play or even see a game that gets it jollies off of making fun of some HORRIBLE living conditions?

When I play a game I want to escape from the pain, not elevate it.

This thread ranks next to "what would a game on the Holocaust look like".
 
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Ben Friedberg
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electrik minis wrote:
Whoa - pull over, PC Police here.

I don’t think the theme is very nice. What might be hilarious to some people is actually a curse to others. As a mentally ill person who deals with problems like collecting data from towels and seeing evil faces on doorknobs and stuff like this every day and has no control over it because the medicine doesn't work, why would I want to play or even see a game that gets it jollies off of making fun of some HORRIBLE living conditions?

When I play a game I want to escape from the pain, not elevate it.

This thread ranks next to "what would a game on the Holocaust look like".


Kyle, while I am terribly sorry for your condition, I think that you might be misinterpreting the overall spirit of the game. My goal is not to make fun of any sort of mental disorder. While it is perfectly fair to say that some people may not appreciate the game for it's theme, I don't think that relating it to a holocaust simulation is very accurate. For that matter, you could say that Clue is in horrible taste. Yes.... but not to the point where the subject matter (murder) isn't considered reasonable for games, tv shows, novels, movies, etc.... Along those lines, while mental illness is a terrible thing, I don't think that it is something to be patently AVOIDED. I completely agree that MOCKING an illness is probably insensitive, however I don't think that it should be avoided as subject material altogether.
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benny275 wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
To add to this, there is at least one faction of experts that argues that multiple personality syndrome/dissociative identity disorder is not a real condition, and then when symptoms are exhibited, they are feigned, either unconsciously or deliberately, in order to attract and maintain increased attention from doctors/health practitioners.


Yes indeed, most of the mental health community would say that such a disorder does not actually exist. The reigning consensus is basically that. However, there have been cases where an alternate personality is developed, usually only one, in cases of extreme trauma in childhood. Again, this is VERY VERY rare. So rare in fact that it is barely a blip on the radar of most mental health workers, I've never met one in my 10 years in the field so that should say something. But I think it's a great idea of a game, go for it, just remember that there may be about 100 people in the world who will hate you for making a game about them.


I am not an expert but I would question your source that "most" say it does not exist. There are quite a few mental illnesses such as Borderline personality that seem to have a close similarity to other conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder or the more famous type of "split personality" which indeed maybe rare.

Quite a few of these conditions often use the term:"disassociative" although whether this term really describes a type of personality or is just describing one aspect of such a personality is a good question.

Part of the problem in describing this is that sense of "self" is really more of a continuum, for all of us: healthy or not. So that if I am day dreaming and miss my exit, that may be a form of dissociative disorder albeit a trifle. Whereas someone else may be "zone out" for hours at a time because of PTSD...They are really part of the same thing although one is far more serious.

Also should be noted that the reference work on disorders DMSO or whatver is soon to be issued in a new edition and the word is that the dissociative part will be changed.

So basically this term is sort of confusing, not very descriptive, perhaps not a true personality type. However it does describe something very real and very serious for a large number of people. It's been estimated that 2-4% of the population suffers from Borderline disorder. This number does not refer to other types of dissociatiave types of disorders. PTSD for example, would overlap some with borderline.
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Richard Prieto
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Is it just me, or does this idea sound a lot like Apple to Apples?
 
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