GOTW: Ultimate Werewolf Reflection

The first game that we played in our EDL 290 Class was called Ultimate Werewolf. A game similar to “Mafia” which involves making deductions using social clues, given by the other players, in an effort to win the game. As this was my first time playing such a game, it was confusing at first, but also interesting in watching how social dynamic took root quickly in the game. In my opinion, in terms of winning the game, this was the hardest aspect. As this was the first game that we played this semester, we were not familiar with the other players. As such, we were unaware of the personalities, behaviors, or “tells.” In a game of social deductions, this handicap contributed to mob mentality atmosphere very early in the game. As we had no idea who the enemy was, and no idea who each other were, the players’ paranoia was quickly heightened, and the decisions that were being made among the group become less and less rational as the game continued. It was this paranoia, and the uncertainty of who one can trust, that led to individuals choosing one of two actions. Either to take initiative and place distrust on another individual, or rather, contribute minimally and follow the mob. In our game, I took the latter approach and chose to bury my “enemy” status within the crowd. In doing so, it allowed me to survive till the end. Though at the cost, of being unable to support my team against the other players.

Ultimate Werewolf conveys many aspects of leadership. For example, as stated before, there were two roles a player could have taken: either to take initiative or follow the mob. Leadership is not about a title, but about one’s impact on a community. In this regard, either roles can have a significant impact on the community as proven by the second and third follower from the “Leadership from a Dancing Guy” video. Another aspect of leadership that can be found by playing Ultimate Werewolf comes from the notion of individuals speaking in order to persuade the minds of other players. In order to successfully place distrust on another player, or displace the distrust on you, one must be able to speak to other hearts and convey their reasoning so that others follow behind.

This is a game that I would take back to my residence hall and use as a corridor event for my residents.