On Janurary 26th 2023, the game Ultimate Werewolf was played in the depths of one of Miami’s most mysterious halls. While this game was new to many of the participants, some of the others held a double edge sword with their expirtise. Individuals such as I have never played such a game as complex as Ultimate Werewolf, but dabbled only simpler versions as a child, like within the game of Mafia. Many were extremely confused at the beggining of the session, but with a well equipt and experienced narrator, confusion metamorphisized into familiarity.
A breif summary of the game play of the session is as follows: In one of the beginning rounds the Witch was killed by the Werewolfs, but before she died, she managed to kill off one of the pup Werewolfs as well. This was an example of risktaking since she took the chance to kill at the very beginning rather than solely questioning who was the Werewolf. This allowed the Werewolfs to choose double the amount of townspeople to elliminate. Eventually the townspeople were able to kill off another Werewolf, which only left one left without their pack. While each one of the towns people tried their best to single out the werewold using their specilized tasks, time seemed to be running out quickly. With only about 6 townspeople left, many strategized that the only way to find the werewolf was through the process of ellimination of sharing their roles. This method did not seem to be beneficial at first, but eventually the last Werewolf standing was able to be picked away from the group, leaving the townspeople victorious (except for the dead ones).
The most challenging aspect of this game was not being familiar with the other players. Usually individuals like myself are very skilled at picking up on both verbal and physical normalities when it comes to one’s self. Since we were all playing with strangers, this made the game much more difficult to pick up on what was suspicious from an individual and what would typically seem normal. With that being said, I think the game more heavily relied so on leadership rather than intuition. It relied on leadership since many were able to speak up and share what stratigies might be helpful to pick out the Werewolf in given situations throughout the game play. An example of this that was breifly explained in the game play summary was the tactic of everyone saying their roles in the hopes to single out the Werewolf. This made the game both challenging and fun as a result.
Personally, I really liked this game, but it would not always be my first choice. There is a time and a place for this game since it is fairly stressful with trying to both defend yourself as well as trying to find and kill the Werewolf. Personally, in a game such as this, I am less likely to take risks since it will probably end in me making the wrong decision. This is also a similar approach to how I would handle a leadership role (make sure that you do it right rather than just to get it over with). One very important aspect of this game is that in order for the game to be enjoyable, every single player has to be into it. If not every player is 100% in. then it will not be a fun game. With that being said, I do not think that this game would be good for my direct family since it is fairly complex. I would suggest this game to my roommate Kendra though. This is because she plays a lot more complex games on her computer as well as DND, and I think that she would find it to be very enjoyable.
I attended the Geeks on Ice campus gaming event on Friday, September 16, 2022. My boyfriend tagged along with me and we were able to walk around and see different clubs within the League of Geeks. When we walked in, I waved hi to JS and we made our way toward the board games. We looked at some of the options for a little bit. This was nice because I saw both games I was familiar with and some I had never heard of before. My boyfriend and I arrived at the very beginning of the event so there were not many people there yet to start up a board game yet. We sat down at a table with Code Names and a game called Letter Jam which I had never heard of before.
Letter Jam was an interesting game. Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way through. I was drawn to this game by the design of the packaging. I thought the strawberry was clever because it was talking about jam. The game reminded me of Wordle through The New York Times. It took a long time to set up the game. The setup was more complicated than I anticipated. I felt like the instructions were slightly complex and confusing. Although, It is possible that my brain was just tired at the end of the week.
We did not end up playing Letter Jam. I found the setup got to be confusing. Then, my boyfriend and I walked to the floor above to check out other areas of the event. We walked through the lounge with the Super Smash Bros playing and other computer games as well. We made our way toward the virtual reality area where someone was all set up to play Beat Saber. Only one headset was charged enough to be used. So my boyfriend and I sat and waited for a bit observing the process. He thought it would be funny to watch me, but he never got a chance. We were waiting for a while and decided to go check out other areas of the event again.
We made our way back through the lounge where all the games were being played. This time I saw a group playing mario kart on the Nintendo Switch. I like Mario Kart but I have only played on switch maybe once. Every other time I have played Mario Kart it has been on the Wii. I think next time I may take my chance at virtual reality or Nintendo Switch Mario Kart, but that did not happen this time.
When leaving the lounge, a group of five people was just setting up the game Mysterium and I got excited. Only a few individuals in the group had played Mysterium before. The person who played the role of Ghost had the most experience with the game. It was interesting playing with a mix of experience levels with the game. It took some time to explain how to play but it also helped that the more experienced individuals were able to help the process. This reminded me of some of the leadership styles and aspects we touched on during class the other week. We talked about leading by example, thinking politically (which was thinking of all the options and outcomes) and a lot more. I saw different styles of playing games and leadership come out.
I was also intrigued by how the individual, who had played before with their family, had different intricacies with playing the game that came out as we went along. This made it interesting as I had to adjust my game play slightly from what I had experienced in class. We ended up making it through to the last stage with only one “hour” left on the clock. Then, we all displayed our individual collections of the person, room, and weapon. The clues given were mostly supporting one card out of the three. This was an interesting strategy that I do not think I particularly enjoyed. I think only one out of six of us actually matched what the ghost had chosen as the final culprit, location, and weapon of choice.
I liked seeing people’s reactions as we made it through the game. How people reacted at the actual outcome and final result was intriguing. The ghost also noted that they had used all of their crows before the final round and that two of them had been used to get better cards for one person in particular. This made me think about the dynamic of having a group of five friends playing with two people they had never met before. It was probably an interesting dynamic from their experience as well. I think this observation and the note about the crows influenced how I saw the end result of the game. I thought there may have been some choices that were made that would have been different if someone else was the ghost. This would most likely be because of differences in experience, personality, and leadership style. Playing in this setting and with this dynamic of individuals really made me want to try a go at being the ghost in the future.
We set up the game to play again and another individual joined. This was intriguing because they stated they had played before, even if it was a while ago. However, I found that they asked more questions than the players who had only played for the first time that day. This new individual also had a more assertive personality. This added a whole new layer to the game but also made it slightly more complicated. It is quite possible I viewed it as more complicated because I am a fan of cooperation and sharing different ideas. While this assertive personality may have been helpful in some decisions that needed to be made. It was also frustrating because we had to explain the rules and re-explain them after this individual was trying to help make decisions as to people or places that would be selected. This made the second game start out with a very interesting point of view.
We did not end up finishing the second game of Mysterium. The group we were playing with wanted to go ice skating so we cleaned up. My boyfriend and I walked through the areas once again and passed by several groups down on the second floor playing board games. Seeing a variety of groups playing different games was wonderful. I had not expected a lot of people to be at the event. But I felt like the turn out was pretty impressive for what I was expecting. My boyfriend and I did not stay too long after that because it was getting late and I had another event I had to help facilitate within my Residence Hall. We did pass JS on the way out again. They were bringing in SDS Pizza when we crossed paths again. This would have been wonderful, but I also appreciated the ability to recognize that we were done for the night and would not have had a good time if we tried to stay much longer.
The biggest highlight of the event was the community. It was a very cordial group that was both inviting and welcoming. I feel like more students should branch out and go to League of Geeks events as well. There were a lot of options to participate and get involved while at the event. Therefore, it was easy to get involved and find something at lest somewhat interesting. I would definitely recommend this event to other students. It felt like a wonderful way to build community and create great memories with friends. I felt like the community was kind, respectful, and welcoming on all accounts and interactions that I had.
One thing I would have done differently if I went again, I would have brought along more friends to play games with. I think this would have made my personal experience better. I felt like my boyfriend and I were just wondering around for a little while because we did not want to start a game with just two people. I think I also would have worn socks. It was a warm day out and I wore sandals so I was not able to go ice skating once that had opened up. I appreciated ice skating being an opportunity and only wish I had planned ahead more. Maybe I was not anticipating being at the event for such a long time, but I am truly glad I did stay.
If I helped plan the event, I think I would have done the event on a different day than the Art After Dark Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) event. This would be helpful because there was so much advertising for the MAP event that I did not know about the Geeks on Ice event except from word of mouth during out classtime.
Overall, this event was really fun! I will recommend this event to others in the future. I also hope to go to other League of Geeks events in the future, or atleast the Meeples board game nights. I hope other students take the opportunity to experience events like this as they are good experiences and opportunities to see the amazing community that exists on Miami’s Campus.
The images included are the box of Letter Jam because I thought the design was cool. I also included an image of Mysterium mid-game. I would like to note that I am not good at remembering to take selfies and/or other pictures at events, yet I remembered to take these at least.
The game we played in class was Mysterium. This has been my favorite game so far. I played as one of the psychics. I really enjoyed trying to figure out what the ghost was thinking about when they selected the vision cards. Often the things that stood out in the vision cards to me was not what they had intended to stand. This meant that I had the challenge of trying to think like the ghost. I think this game would be really fun with my family, as we all know each so well that I think it would be interesting to see if we can better understand what the ghost is trying to communicate.
There were two things I found to be the hardest parts of this game. One was since our group members did not know each other that well, it was hard for us to figure what the ghost was telling us. The other thing I found to be difficult was understanding the rules. For whatever reason, when I first read the rulebook, I was confused. However, after watching the video I found it to be easier to understand.
One of the leadership concepts that I feel this game exemplifies is “get off the dance floor and onto the balcony”. During the game, the ghost could not talk. This meant that once they handed out the vision cards, the outcome was out of their control. Once they stepped back after giving out the cards, they had to see if we choose what they meant for us to. If we did not they needed to re-evaluate how they were going about the situation and make changes for the next set of vision cards.
Geeks on Ice, an annual event held by the League of Geeks, was held September 16th of this year. I’m an officer of Meeples, the tabletop club, and so I attended both as someone who helped organize and set up part of the event, as well as someone who just wanted to attend and see what all the other organizations had going on. My role in Meeples is the Trading Card Game Coordinator, so I was focused on running TCG events on the ground floor while I was there, but I spent time in many other clubs’ areas doing other things as well.
As far as turnout, it was great! From the very start of the event we had a constant stream of people coming in, and at the event’s peak almost every table we’d set up on the ground floor had a group playing a game at it. There was some concern that Art After Dark, another campus event being held at the same time, would step on the toes of Geeks on Ice and lead to both events having less attendance, but that didn’t seem to be the case: Many people it seems like went to both at different points in the night, and it was great to see such a strong turnout. While walking around and checking out all the different clubs, it seemed like all of them had several people in their dedicated area at most every point in the night, which was great to see. Plus, at least for Meeples, we had a lot of people come to the club for the first time in the couple of meetings immediately following the event, saying that they’re there because they played games at Geeks on Ice. If that’s not a mark of the event being a success, I don’t know what is!
Events like Geeks on Ice are super important for on-campus organizations, since it helps them get their name out there and attract people to their clubs who wouldn’t have otherwise known about them or been inclined to go to their meetings. For example, I didn’t even know we had a “medieval club” on campus, but seeing a bunch of people all dressed up in armor and period clothing with swords and shields made me very curious to learn more about their organization. Even if I knew about most of the other organizations, if the increased meeting turnout from Meeples is anything to go by, other groups likely also saw increased interest from people who weren’t aware of the clubs prior to this. Events like Recon and the Halloween Party are also good for this, but I think Geeks on Ice is especially effective because of its setup: With every group having a specific corner of the building or smaller room, you’re more incentivized to see what each club is individually all about, and that’s a great way to get new people interested, or at least involved at club activities at the event itself.
As for what I myself did during the event, I showed up early to help set up tables and chairs and things, as well as carry over games from Armstrong. We tried to pick as many games as possible that are generally popular and that we thought people casually walking by the table full of games would see and want to play. We actually sat some of these games out on empty tables specifically, which seemed to work well as I believe all the games we sat out like this got played at those tables. I spent a good chunk of my time facilitating or playing games in that area (since it was my job after all), and even in the dedicated TCG area we had a lot of people playing. Lots of Magic, including people playing the game-in-a-box we brought, and even some Yu-Gi-Oh players which was cool to see, especially since that game isn’t usually played at club meetings.
Otherwise though, I was able to check out other organizations as well. While I can’t really play VR due to my bad eye, I was able to watch other people playing it, which the club also broadcast onto the big screen of the ice rink. It’s always fun seeing how peoples’ movements mapped onto controllers look kind of silly in-game. I also watched some of the Fighters Guild just playing casual matches in a couple of different games. Fighting games are a genre I’ve wanted to get into for awhile now, and I’d actually forgotten that the Fighters Guild was actually a club, so I made a mental note to consider going to one of their meetings in the future. I also just met up with a group of friends of mine (who I didn’t even know would be there, actually) and hung out and ate pizza (the pizza was great, by the way, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen pizzas that big in my life.)
All in all I think this was a great event! I kinda came at it from two different perspectives, one as an officer for one of the clubs represented at the event and another as just someone who likes checking out all the clubs and seeing what they’re all about. On both axes I think Geeks on Ice was a great success and a very fun experience. We had a great turnout and it was just fun to see everyone having a good time and be around people interested in similar things. It’s funny, even if you never actually talk to or interact with most of the people at an event like this, just knowing you’re surrounded by a bunch of people with similar interests to you is a very cool feeling, and one I didn’t really get to experience much before I came to college, since I lived in a super small town with nothing to do.
(The photos are of the areas I helped set up for my TCG Coordinator Role)
The game I played in class was Forbidden Island. I had never played a cooperative game before and thought it was really fun. I liked how it was not about competition, but rather team problem solving and brainstorming. It was fun to see how other players would go about navigating a situation. I think my family would really enjoy this game because it was fairly easy to learn. Additionally, some members of my family are more skillful at tabletop games than others and since this is a cooperative game it would allow for there to not be an unfair advantage.
The hardest part of this game was once the water level started to rise. At this point you had to decide which island tiles were worth saving and which one you could go without if need be. It took a lot of foresight to think about how you would make a path to the treasures you still needed and how to get all the players to Fools’ Landing at the end. It was also hard to figure out how to get all four of the treasure cards into one person’s hand, especially because you couldn’t have more than 5 cards at one time. It felt like a logic puzzle at times.
One leadership concept that this game relates to is challenging the process. All the members of my group were open to receiving suggestions from the others. If we felt that there was a better way to solve a problem, we were all open to changing our method. This allowed us to be able to accomplish the goal of the game.
In class we played the game Ultimate Werewolf, and my role was as a villager. I really liked this game for a few reasons. One of them was because even when you got out of the game it was still very engaging. This is because once you were out, you got to keep your eyes open the entire time. This allowed for you to observe what was going on during the night phase of the game and got to see how actions other players made affected the game. Additionally, I liked how for the first class it involved the whole class in one game. This made it easier to meet people in the class. I that this would be a good game to play with tweens and teens in a camp setting. I think they would enjoy it more than mafia, which is a popular camp game because there are more roles, and it is more complex.
I would say the hardest part of the game for me was understanding all the different roles and remembering them all. I had only played Ultimate Werewolf once before this class. It was with a very big group at a League of Geeks event and since I did not know what I was doing and I was a villager, I did not participate very much. However, in class I felt more inclined to participate since it was a smaller group. That meant I really needed to understand the roles in the game.
One of the ties this game had to leadership was through the leadership principle of enabling others to act. During the day phase in Ultimate Werewolf, the village votes on one person who they think might be a werewolf. If someone strongly suspects a person to be a werewolf, they must get the majority of players to also vote on this person. This means that they must foster collaboration and build trust with the other players to convince them that they are not a werewolf.
Ultimate Werewolf is a very strategic, logical and fun multiplayer offline social game. The game will divide 10-20 players into two main camps, the evil side and the good side. The victory condition is that the good side defeats the evil side, or the evil side defeats the good side. In addition and will be subdivided into some small camps, such as Cupid let two people become a couple, and the victory condition of the couple is to ensure that both people can survive to the end of the game.
For the evil side, the werewolves, they need to find their companions at night and kill all the good side characters. The good side needs to deduce who the werewolves are according to what happens during the night. It’s not like the righteous side can’t do something about it. All the characters except for the normal villagers have some skills to find out who the hidden werewolves are or to protect other righteous players from being killed.
I really like this game because it is a great test of leadership. For the Justice side, the Justice leader needs to have a strong logical mind and good game character skills to guide all the Justice players to find the werewolf and execute him in daylight. And the leader also needs his firm leadership to prevent the werewolf side from challenging his leadership. The same goes for the werewolf camp. The werewolf camp leader role needs to lead the other werewolves to confirm the kill of the right target and needs to lead the other werewolf players during the day to mislead the other justice side players to join his camp to execute the justice side characters.
The risk of this game is when the leader character makes a wrong leadership leading to the failure of the game, for example, if the righteous leader mistakes the villagers as lurking werewolves leading everyone to believe he is a werewolf and executes him during the daytime. Or the werewolf player leads other werewolves to kill unimportant non-important Justice side characters in multiple nights resulting in game failure. Or when leading other werewolves to mislead other righteous players to join their camp during the day, a failure due to a lapse in the logic level of the chat leads to the entire camp being suspected of being werewolves resulting in a failure.
Personally, I am very willing to take risks and I like to be a camp leader. Because taking risks is a responsibility that a leader must take, and it will determine whether other people in the same camp will be willing to follow my command. Because when the game is won, I am likely to be the most recognized and popular character, and when it is lost, I am likely to be the reprimanded character. Risk is something I can take and popularity is something I aspire to.
In a lot of games, you are on a team working to achieve a common goal. Being on a leadership team is a very similar experience. Everyone on both teams is usually assigned to a role and given specific tasks to complete. In games players typically have special abilities to help fulfill their role. On a real-life team people have real life skills that they excel in, making them better in certain positions. In both scenarios team members can help and support each other as needed.
Leadership and games also both include a lot of management. In many games you must manage what resources you have to avoid running out and accomplish goals within a time limit. As a leader you often are scheduling dates for events and keeping up with deadlines. Leaders also manage funds, deciding what to purchase or not, much like the resource management in games. Giving people orders and keeping them happy are goals that exist both in some games and for real leaders.
Another similarity between leadership and games is that you get better at them the more you practice. As you play games more you level up and learn better strategies to grow stronger. As a leader you must have practical experience leading to get better. Much like any other skill leadership can be improved with time and effort. So don’t avoid being a leader just because you think you’re bad at it. No one starts out as the perfect leader and you’ll never have a chance to improve if you don’t start.
My idea for a quiz was to relate the five colors in Magic: The Gathering to different styles of leadership. Every color in magic has an identity not just for gameplay mechanics but also thematic flavor. White is associated with government, using rules and laws to keep peace and order. So, for leadership I based the questions on a person who takes charge to create a structure and order to the group. Blue pursues knowledge and logic to solve problems. As a leader I created questions about making plans and strategies to approach the situation. Black was tricky as it has a heavy negative connotation. I attempted to keep the portrayal neutral with a desire for success and being unafraid to take risks. I still feel like I could have improved on making the choices feel positive. Red is quick to action and values freedom. This type of leader prefers setting a positive example through their own actions instead of ordering others what to do. Green was another challenging color as its desire for peace is like white. I decided to put in emphasis on a mediator who makes sure all the members of the group get along.
Of the ten responses I collected, counting ties as both colors, there was: one white, two blue, one black, two red, and six green leaders. The first and last white options were never picked, possibly because they were too generic compared to the others. The third and fourth blue options were never picked, maybe because they were too complex compared to the simpler alternatives. The second and fourth black answers weren’t selected and likely were seen as too selfish and mean. Every single red option was selected at least once and is probably the best written options that I wrote. Strangely the first green option, studying as a group, was never picked. The third and fourth green options were picked way too often and caused way more people to be green leaders than any other. These answers are probably seen as the nicest or most effective of all the options available. The first change I would make to my quiz is make the black options more appealing. Then I would give a few of the shared qualities of green to white.
Despite the problems of balance in responses people were generally satisfied with their results. Not all of them were familiar with the different colors in Magic so their response was based on the summary I wrote. I personally agree with most if not all the results as well. This could just mean the sample of people who took the quiz were biased towards green. Also, the five colors aren’t designed to equally represent all people so something like black probably is naturally less common than others. A flaw with the BuzzFeed website is ties always get the same result and there is no indication of how much you match with the other options. If I had designed a more advanced quiz, I could have included all ten color pairs as answers instead of just the five one color options. The issue of certain colors being less common in real people would only because worse though. I doubt many people would fit into green black or red black for example. Overall learning about the design philosophy for colors in Magic and creating leader types for them was an interesting assignment.
The on-campus gaming event I went to this semester was Recon from March 4th through March 6th. On Friday during Recon the first event I did was the geek seek scavenger hunt. The riddles were easy to solve and the final code being recon was a bit obvious after the second letter, but it was helpful to see all the different rooms events were being held in. I then participated in two rounds of werewolf legacy. In the first round I was one of the werewolves and we won. For the second round I was a villager and we unfortunately lost. For the end of the night, I was on a team for trivia, and we started off strong. For the first half of trivia, we stayed in the top 3 or so, but at the end we fell to fourth place and just barely missed winning a prize.
On Saturday I played in the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Magic: The Gathering draft. For the draft I played a white and green enchantment-based deck and opened some nice cards. The best one was Boseiju, Who Endures, which sells for around $25-$30, which was the second most expensive card any got from the draft. Of the six rounds I played I won three and lost three. However, when split between opponents I won my second match (2-0) and lost the first (0-2) and third (1-2). After having dinner, I tried D&D beat the geek against Grayson. While the trivia was fun not enough questions were written ahead of time and the 30 minutes wasn’t enough for how many people wanted to do beat the geek.
I then played in the last 2 rounds of werewolf legacy. The final round was awesome. Daniel claimed to be the Chupacabra trying to kill werewolves. I lived till close to the end and decided to shoot Daniel since there either was no werewolves left and he needed to die for town to live or there would only be one more werewolf. That left only 4 players, one of which was cleared of being the werewolf by the seer. Ian had a special ability that if he died both people next to him also would. He suggested being voted out so only the one player cleared by the seer would be left. As the only survivor she won the game…as the Chupacabra! It turned out that Daniel was a werewolf trying to avoid being voted out by claiming a neutral role. The Chupacabra can’t be found by the seer and since everyone thought it was gone the end came as a huge shock to everyone. I then joined a game of normal ultimate werewolf. We were short on time and sadly had to rush the game to play it at all. It didn’t matter to much though as the apprentice seer immediately found all 3 werewolves and there was nothing they could have done to come back from that.
On Sunday, during my birthday, I played Two Rooms and a Boom. While fun the games were a bit small and not as good as the rounds we played during class. I then watched the officer swearing in ceremony for the new/returning League of Geeks officers. Finally, I used the tickets I got throughout the event to try to win a prize. I ended up winning a poster of Jessica Jones with the tickets. There was also the play-to-win board games which I had played a lot of them. From those I also won the board game Mare Nostrum: Empires, which was probably my favorite of all the ones I played.