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Subject: The Art of Lying? rss

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Dennis Kreba
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Ok, I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of lying. Thus, I probably haven't been attracted to any games that require lying to play. I believe that in some cases, you need to be deceitful, but I haven't found a game yet that required lying.

Since I haven't played any games that required lying, all I can do is speculate with something like Shadows over Camelot, and assume that the traitor has to be deceitful but doesn't necessarily have to outright lie unless someone asked them if they were the traitor. Is it lying, if you are the traitor, to ask someone else if they are the traitor, or is it deceit? I obviously have some kind of thought in my head, that there is a line between lying and deceit. My friends play a game called Mafia with playing cards and I refuse to play the game. It involves a great deal of lying to simply survive.

So, 3 questions:
1. How does everyone else feel about having to lie in a game?
2. Do you have a line between lying and deceit?
3. What games require lying to play or to win?

Thanks
 
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I lie all the time when playing "Liars Dice". Oh yeah, I've got four "5" right here under this cup. You can take that to the bank. I lie while playing poker. I love the lying aspect in games, I wished they would do it more.

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dennis_kreba wrote:
Ok, I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of lying. Thus, I probably haven't been attracted to any games that require lying to play. I believe that in some cases, you need to be deceitful, but I haven't found a game yet that required lying.

-----
3. What games require lying to play or to win?

Thanks


Werewolf/Mafia

Advanced Civilization

Diplomacy

A Game of Thrones



Okay, in truth those games DO NOT require lying in order to win, but you're sure a lot less likely to win if you only tell the truth.
 
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First, no disrespct meant, but you are taking this whole issue waaaay too seriously...this is the kinda thinking that causes people to blame Metallica for their sons suicide or video game violence for the ills of the world.

It is a game and it isn't lying per se, but manipulation of the facts and deception in order to achieve the set goals as set by the game. I don't consider Poker a liers sport, but that is in fact the main jist of the game...who can outbluff their opponents.

1. How does everyone else feel about having to lie in a game?
I consider it a part of the strategy and should be taken in good sport as a part of the game

2. Do you have a line between lying and deceit?
In a game no, unless its "Who spilled Coffee on my brand new copy of P.R.?!" and no one fesses up.

Now in real life, I am pretty straight forward about being deceived, and I try to be honest as possible about issues, but therein lies part of the problem...most people DO NOT want to hear the truth, they want to hear what will best fit within their comfort zone parameters, and you must slowly wean them out of that dependency.

3. What games require lying to play or to win?
Heck, almost any! I make comments that I am going to do something in Caylus, and then do the opposite, or even better "Motley Fools" game, now that is one you REALLY work at manipulating other players...really fun!!! and even better when you get caught off guard and hang yourself with your own noose!
 
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Chris Kice
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Cash & Guns has a variant where one of the players is an informant.

Personally, lying in games doesn't bother me. I never lie in real life.

Okay - that's a total lie...
 
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J Battle
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For me it depends a bit on the game. Lying and backstabbing would strike me as unsportsmanlike in a game like monopoly or scrabble. But in conflict oriented games, I see it as just part of the game. Sort of like how in (american) football, it's fine for the players to knock each other down, etc, where this kind of behavior would obviously be wrong if they were just walking down the street.

Of course, some people I know have trouble making that distinction during games, especially if the game has been going for a while and everyone is keyed up.
 
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As I rule I don't lie in Real Life but when it comes to playing a game, or when it comes to suprising my husband for his Birthday there have been times I have had to lie.

The way I look at it is.

Will this person eventually (within a defined time period) know the truth or will this person never find out the truth.

If they will eventually know the truth, at the end of the game or when it is time for the suprise then I don't have a problem with lying.

If they will NEVER find out the truth or it will be MANY MANY years from now or by accident that they find the out the truth, then yes lying should be avoided.

 
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I should also add that lying also has motivation and intent and other people's perceptions.

In a game like Mafia/Werewolf everyone expects eachother to lie so is it really lying? Yes and NO. Yes because you are not being truthful... but then people aren't really believingin you anyway. Also the motivation is not to hurt the other players or is out side of the scope of the game. Everyone knows that at the end of the game all will be revealed, and no lie will go unknown.

Where as in a game like Settlers and you take your resources and then lie saying that you didn't... that is out side of the scope of the game and is really cheating.


When I suprise my husband my motivation is for his good not to harm, which is also why I don't consider it a wrong thing.
 
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Chris Kice
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Melsana wrote:
Where as in a game like Settlers and you take your resources and then lie saying that you didn't... that is out side of the scope of the game and is really cheating.


I think there's a huge difference between lying because the game's mechanic requires deception to play (like Werewolf or Liar's Dice) and lying to unfairly gain an advantage via your deception (like in your example).

And, yeah - my thoughts on the topic are pretty close to yours. I've tried to be shady with my wife (including trying to hide big game purchases), but I always end up coming clean shortly thereafter because I just can't lie to her. (After 15 years, you'd think I'd have learned!)
 
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dennis_kreba wrote:
but I haven't found a game yet that required lying.


Try werewolf (can be played online at BGG). Many people have trouble lying, therefore if it's their first game I like to ask them straight up to state their role. It flusters some people, if they stutter or make a joke or in anyway don't answer directly I keep that in mind for later. After the first game it rarely works though.


dennis_kreba wrote:
My friends play a game called Mafia with playing cards and I refuse to play the game. It involves a great deal of lying to simply survive.


whoops, mafia and werewolf are the same thing so you know about it. I'd say give it a try once, you won't become a bad person.

dennis_kreba wrote:
So, 3 questions:
1. How does everyone else feel about having to lie in a game?
2. Do you have a line between lying and deceit?
3. What games require lying to play or to win?


1. I could tell you that lying in a game bothers me but then I'd be lying to you.

2. I draw a line between a game and real life

3. Any game that has hidden information requires, well, for you to hide information. Is that lying? Settlers definitely requires lying by the way.
 
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Nekura wrote:
Melsana wrote:
Where as in a game like Settlers and you take your resources and then lie saying that you didn't... that is out side of the scope of the game and is really cheating.




That's not lying, thats cheating. Now if someone asks if you have stone when you don't have any and you say yes, lots. Then they play a monopoly, thats lying. And gradifying.
 
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Joe Grundy
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I'll belatedly add my 0.02

In dealing in life I never knowingly lie (not even to create a happy surprise) though there are other ways of misdirecting people so there's still a fine line to walk. Sometimes I'll just say "honestly I think you should wait for the answer" (or some equivalent).

In many games there is an expectation/contract to mislead. The difference between lying, deception, misdirection, and fiction is mostly expectation. If I expect fiction, I get fiction. If you already know I'm not going to yield a piece of information but you are trying to get it out of me anyway I can still deceive you or misdirect you and meet your expectations. If you have all reasonable expectations that I'm giving you truthful information and I don't then I'm lying.

In many games a published mechanic in the game is information hiding, with misdirection or deception. Since the expectation is there, and we all know the intent, there's no broken ethic to work within that expectation.

But I'm a lousy poker player.
 
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Dennis Kreba
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mdp4828 wrote:
dennis_kreba wrote:
but I haven't found a game yet that required lying.


3. Any game that has hidden information requires, well, for you to hide information. Is that lying? Settlers definitely requires lying by the way.


I disagree with this. Settlers does not require lying unless you play a particular way. I just realized that many other gamers or groups may use questions and answers to prod their opponents to get information that they don't have. Whereas, I rely heavily on my knowledge of the game and what I've seen. I don't need to ask someone what types of resources they have in Settlers. I already know 90%.

How does Settlers "require" lying? I can confidently say, 100%, that I have never had to lie during Settlers and I've won my share of games. Hiding information, or having face down cards is different than lying. If someone asks you for information, you can simply shrug your shoulders. While this can yield the same result as lying, it's not lying. You aren't giving someone information that they don't have access to nor are they entitled to that information unless you want to give it to them.

I don't think that Mafia will make me a bad person. But, I think that the premise of the game is on lying and not really on game play. People playing the game will do whatever it takes and say whatever it takes to survive, which could include "personal comments" such as, come on, you are my best friend, you know I would never go after you or you know I would never lie to you.

I agree that some lying or deceit is required in certain games and can be fun. But I don't agree with lying that could affect your relationship with someone, even during a game. That's what I've seen from Mafia. I must have a problem with Mafia...I'm not 100% sure why, but I still refuse to play it
 
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Ed Sherman
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Jake Battle wrote:
...Lying and backstabbing would strike me as unsportsmanlike in a game like monopoly or scrabble.


I disagree. I would stab anyone I had to to get out of playing Monopoly.

Oh, wait, that's not what you meant...
 
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Tom Thingamagummy
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I love any game that has a bluffing element, here's a few:
Fist of Dragonstones
Vabanque
Hoity Toity
Doge

Bluffing is a type of lying. It's a game mechanic that I love! Most games use bluffing and not lying per se.

Now take Werewolf or Mafia. There is straight up lying. But really, it's a psychological bluffing game, so lying is a part of the game. It's not maliciously intended, so it's not like you're lying to hurt someone.

Now, if lying is NOT a game mechanic... it's cheating. If cheating is not part of the game (like Illuminati... I've been caught taking the 50 a few times and had to do the "oh, I thought it was a 5... silly me."), then it's maliciously intended, unsportsmanlike conduct, and really, anti-geek.
 
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jgrundy wrote:

In many games there is an expectation/contract to mislead. The difference between lying, deception, misdirection, and fiction is mostly expectation. If I expect fiction, I get fiction. If you already know I'm not going to yield a piece of information but you are trying to get it out of me anyway I can still deceive you or misdirect you and meet your expectations. If you have all reasonable expectations that I'm giving you truthful information and I don't then I'm lying.

In many games a published mechanic in the game is information hiding, with misdirection or deception. Since the expectation is there, and we all know the intent, there's no broken ethic to work within that expectation.


I agree with Grundy. I enjoy bluffing and misdirecting in some games, but not in others. I think the expectation makes a big difference. I also think there is a difference between bluffing or not revealing info and an outright lie, but maybe that's just the way I like to split hairs.

I remember playing Risk when I was very young. One of my friend's friends said that if I wanted to attack someone else, he wouldn't attack me. (This attack would mean reducing the forces I had at our common border.)

I thought that was pretty sweet and went ahead with my attack. Then that guy promptly attacked my weakly defended border and crushed me. I was livid. I don't think I have ever been so mad. It never occured to me that someone could/would/should lie to my face like that in a game. I have never played a game of Risk or Diplomacy since then because that sort of thing can be hard for me to stomach.

I suspect I would be more mellow now about it, but I still don't like that kind of out and out lie.
 
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Kirk: Spock, you lied!
Spock: I exaggerated.
 
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dennis_kreba wrote:

I don't think that Mafia will make me a bad person. But, I think that the premise of the game is on lying and not really on game play. People playing the game will do whatever it takes and say whatever it takes to survive, which could include "personal comments" such as, come on, you are my best friend, you know I would never go after you or you know I would never lie to you.

I agree that some lying or deceit is required in certain games and can be fun. But I don't agree with lying that could affect your relationship with someone, even during a game. That's what I've seen from Mafia. I must have a problem with Mafia...I'm not 100% sure why, but I still refuse to play it


Now with this argument I can understand your dislike of Mafia. If after the game people are hurt by the statments said during the game then it was not a fun game, and maybe your friends should set up some boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. You might want to try it online. Then you are playing with strangers (at least at first they're strangers then eventually they become friends) and there is less likely for personal hurts to occur.
 
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This is a brilliant story about cheating.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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I agree with the general distinction that if lying is part of the game mechanic (and hopefully isn't done in a way that leaves people mad at each other afterwards), then it's fine. But I don't really enjoy things where lying is the point.

An example (hoping I am not setting myself up for mass denunciation for bringing up such an ungeeky party game): Scruples. The way the game is supposed to be played, lying is the lion's share of what it's all about. You lie and you try to fool the other players, and they vote on whether or not to believe you. I've only ever played this game in a house variant where lying is totally forbidden and the horns/halo cards are not used. Then the game is about the luck of getting the right cards combined with the skill of picking the right people to match them with (that is, correctly predicting what others will say). The honesty version of Scruples belongs in both the category of "party games that require, or at least go better with, some degree of acquaintance among the players," and the category of "party games that can serve as a stimulus for interesting discussions." Oh, and also the category of "party games in which you get to know the other players better." I wouldn't trade all that for a bunch of lying and bluffing--but I'm sure there are those who would, and who find that to be the total fun part of the game. I can't see the appeal.
 
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Jon
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This is a great question.

I have played some werewolf here.
I am deeply ambivalent about the lying.

I've met some good friends here playing; nice people I wouldn't know otherwise. But all we ever do is lie to each other and disbelieve each other. But the friendship isn't based upon lies, and doesn't hinge upon any lies. It's based on the shared fun of playing these games. Which takes the form solely of lies and distrust. Sometimes I don't like that very much.

But here's the deal. If it's the expectation that within a game, there will be backstabbing, lies, etc, and outside the game, the people actually care about each other, then it can still be fun.

Lying is part of the game (which is a lot of fun), and the game would not be fun without it. It's not immoral to lie in werewolf, it's amoral.

It probably does carry over into real life. If I ever get any good at werewolf, I'll probably be able to lie in real life then too. Not a skill I value.

 
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Not everything in werewolf is a lie. The best part is getting to know the people better, which usually happens when you both know you're on the same side (when you're both wolves.

Philosphy students get hit with, "Is lying bad/wrong?" and then get some examples to consider, where a pure lying=bad position becomes hard to maintain. It's easy to think of examples where lying would be the clearly moral thing to do. So, maybe werewolf is good for me after all.
 
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I despise lying in real life - but it's fine in game. Indeed, in games like Werewolf, it is a major piece.

Incidentally, my wife and I don't lie to each other, so we made an agreement after our first game of Werewolf - we're allowed to lie to each other in the game of Werewolf.

Actually it's pretty funny, when we do play werewolf it is generally married couples - often when one of a couple is accused, one of the alleged villagers will turn to the spouse and say "Ask him if he's a werewolf". Followed by "Well, is he?" Incidentally, one of the most lobsided wolf wins ever came when that question was asked the answer was "No - he's a villager" and both spouses were the wolves.

I did play well that night...devil

 
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I love all these people who say they despise lying-hell I tell my kid that Santa is real, so lying in a game-no worries.
 
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I have great difficulties with Werewolf because I don't have a well-developed ability to lie with a straight face. I allow myself the one lie that every player must eventually say, which is "I am not a werewolf."

Outside of that I deal with the situation strictly with plausible evasions, bluster, character smears and the like. I don't think all of that but not telling lots of lies is enough to win, as my dismal wolf record will attest. That's OK though because my goal in Werewolf is not necessarily to personally win, but to seriously annoy and frustrate the "other side" as long as possible.

 
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