Social deduction or deception games are games in which a player or team of players actively deceives other players who are trying to discover hidden roles as a part of the win condition. Included in this category are games like One Night Werewolf, Avalon, and Mafia. In this pilot study (N=24), we examined how the addition of visual displays of heart rate (HR) signals affected players’ gameplay in a six player version of Mafia in online and in-person settings. We also examined moments of synchrony in HR data during critical moments of gameplay. We find that seeing signals did affect players’ strategies and influenced their gameplay, and that there were moments of HR synchrony during vital game events. These results suggest that HR, when available, is used by players in making game decisions, and that players’ HRs can be a measure of like-minded player decisions. Future work can explore how other biosignals are utilized by players of social deception games, and how those signals may undergo unconscious synchrony.
To be published at ACM CHI EA 2022