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What are the effects of social deduction games like Among Us on the psyche?

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Hey guys,

I had a discussion with a friend yesterday about social deduction/deception games like Among Us and One Night Ultimate Werewolf (particularly Among Us because of its recent meteoric rise). He asserts that these kinds of games aren't good for a person's subconscious, saying that it will change a person to think a certain way, and essentially become a different person–one who is capable of true deceit. He also asserts that these games aren't good for relationships (friendships), saying if you can lie to this extent in a game, then how can you be trusted in day to day life? He, himself, doesn't want to play these games anymore for these reasons (he has played them a few times).

I've done a bit of searching for an answer on this, but haven't found anything conclusive.

Some things I've read:

  • Lies in Disguise—An Experimental Study on Cheating

    • Study shows there could be degrees of lying, and different motivations to tell truths.
  • The lying game: toward a clearer understanding of how humans behave when they bend the truth

    • Tangentially related, but interesting.
    • "But are liars more anxious than truth tellers?" said Dr Street. "The reality is no, because often the reason we lie is that to tell the truth would be very difficult and more anxiety-provoking than a lie."
  • Lying, Deception, and “Playing the Game”

    • Interesting examples.
    • Are actors who are essentially trying to "lie" to the audience that they are playing a character on stage/screen wrong? Probably not.
    • Lying is normal everyday behavior?
  • First source led to me to Lewicki's book, "Essentials of Negotiation". Although, mostly about business, I believe this can be applied to game theory.

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    • In Chapter 5, points are brought up about truth and lies. How are truths defined?
    • A businessman named Carr is quoted: “ for the same reason that it is permissible in games, namely that the participants endorse the practice.”
    • There's still more for me to dissect here.
  • Social Deduction Games: Group dynamics in decision making

    • Lists things social deduction games are useful for learning, but nothing negative.
    • See resources listed in this article.
  • Winning Through Deception: A Pedagogical Case Study on Using Social Deception Games to Teach Small Group Communication Theory

    • Students can learn communication theory through social deduction games, but again nothing negative mentioned.
  • Designing Social Deduction Games with Don Eskridge

    • Don Eskridge is the designer of Resistance.
    • Listen from 9:45 – 11:30 – "What makes this style of mechanism of social deduction so good, why is it so popular?"
    • Is what Don Eskridge says, true when it comes to games like Among Us? Does the aspect of cooperation rather than doubt play a role in connecting players?

Are social deduction games like Among Us comparable to games like Poker, where players can try to bluff?

Is it a matter of participants of the game endorsing the practice of lying? (See above source.)

Is it truly possible to separate the lying in social deduction games from real life?

Is there no definitive answer because we don't understand the brain enough?

I want to put out the fact that I lean towards the side that social deduction games aren't really bad. I'm one of those who enjoys them. But I'm really just open to thoughts–trying not to be uninformed. I've also got an interest in game design.

This might have been a jumbled mess (sorry), but please let me know your guys' thoughts. Thank you!

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