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Presentation Explanation

Franklin20's picture

 For our final presentation, my group played the game Mafia.

We chose this game for two reasons.  First, because playing a game seemed like a good way to engage the class in our presentation.  Second, we chose this game because it appears to be a perfect example of the complicated chiasmus of drawing information alongside modes of communication.  That is to say, this game demonstrates that what the informant may consider and try to communicate as noise and information may not perfectly align with what the perceiver considers to be noise an information.  

While playing Mafia, it is interesting to observe the way that the players try to figure out who is the mafia.  In the deliberations almost almost any stimulus can be interpreted as cause for suspicion that a particular player is a member of the mafia.  For instance, during the game that I helped moderate, somebody commented that another student was being extremely quiet and therefore should be a suspected as a member of the mafia.  Another student responded with the fact that this particular student is always quiet.  In this instant, there is are three agents in this formation of information.  First there is the unwilling informant - the quiet student was merely behaving as she normally does.  Next, there were the two people who interpreted the quiet student: one who interpreted her silence as cauce for suspicion (information to a crime) and another who considered it a personal mannerism that was irrelevant to the game (noise).

This was a key moment in demonstrating the complicated connection between communication and information.  In this case, the informant was unknowingly putting out a stimulus: her silence.  And this stimulus was perceived differently by to other players.  This ultimately argues that the way information is drawn is through an intersection between the informants intent (or non-intent) with those who perceive the informants stimulus, who interprets this stimulus into meaning.  Furthermore, this also demonstrates the many ways that we communicate, beyond verbal communication.

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