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This is a little late. Like I said this is a slow moving creature. This post is from 8-8-16.

Tonight, we played a little game called Resistance: Avalon. This is a game about hidden roles finding out who is evil and who is good. The point of the game is to get 3 successful missions for the good to win or 3 failed missions for evil to win. At the beginning of the game, everyone closes their eyes and puts out their fist. The caller calls out the evil people to lift their heads and look at one another for a moment before putting their heads down and putting up their thumbs so that one of the good players (Merlin) can see who the evil ones are. During that time the evil ones don't know who the "Merlin" is. From there you nominate people for missions and try to figure out who the evil players are that are messing up the missions. Needless to say, there is a fair amount of conflict and deceit among the group in this game. I wouldn't say this is a prototypical game for this environment but for this group it worked well.

It was really cool how in the beginning we talked about the trust factor and how trust plays a huge role in this game. I mean this would be a really easy game to cheat at, but the guys held integrity in high regard during this game. It would be pretty easy to spot a cheater in this game based on how the game plays out and the amount of discussion you have around what decisions to make and luckily it did not appear that anyone was trying to cheat. Anyway, this was a really cool piece of the game that I wanted to make sure was highlighted considering this game is played with young men who are incarcerated. I was pretty proud of them and it made the game really fun.

We started off slow and trying to figure out how to play and what strategies work best, but by the end of the game it was so hard to tell who was good and who was evil and who was telling the truth and who wasn't. This game evoked a lot of emotion and really good times. All the guys really enjoyed this game once we got going. This game brings out a lot of good discussion and really helps you either secretly work as a team (evil) or force conversation with leading questions and figuring out how to read peoples postures, emotions, nuances, and all-around behavior. This game was so much fun and provided a lot more than I would have expected.

There were a few situations where I was evil, and another player was good, and we were both sent on a mission together. As evil I can choose to let the mission fail or be successful whereas the good player has to choose success. In this instance I chose to fail the mission and try to pin the fail on the other player who we both knew were good, but no one else did. Needless to say, the good player became very animated about how he was good, and I was evil but in this game that is the point. No one knew for sure who was good or who was evil, except myself, him, and the Merlin. We did not have time to discuss the game tonight after group, but we will first thing next group. I was really curious what the "Merlin" was thinking and feeling when he knew I was evil and that the other player was good but could not say anything. That game was our final game and by far our best game.

At the end of the game we did have a very small discussion about the games and how people felt. The guys thought this was a really great game and they shared how they loved the conflict but knew that this game would have to be played by a specific group. They discussed among themselves about how they knew this sort of game would be hard for people and why. I thought this was really impressive as they were able to put themselves into the shoes of other people and understand why this would be hard for some people. This is an amazing skill that seems small, but many people in this setting have a hard time doing. Next week I hope to dive further into that and discuss the group dynamic, how they felt at times in the game, what their thoughts were about why they didn't want to play this with others on their unit, and what protective factors played a role in making those decisions.

Like I said this was a great group and there is still a lot more to discuss on the group. Everyone was very appropriate and good to one another. I was very impressed and can’t wait to share what the guys had to say about this game.

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