What to Say When Someone Asks You What Gaming is All About
Tuesday, February 09, 2010I can show you, if you want. It will take about 5 minutes. Okay? Okay, so, imagine you're a homicide cop. A Detective like on Law & Order.
You're interviewing a suspect. He's a mechanic. You're at a garage where they fix old cars. It's after hours now so it's quiet but it still smells like grease and gasoline. You're there with your partner.
This guy—this mechanic, his name is Arnie Johnson—he matches the description of the suspect given by an eye-witness. Six foot four, heavy set, dark cropped hair and beard, tattoos. He's the brother-in-law of the victim.
Arnie says, "Is this about Sarah? I don't know anything about that." He's sweating and his eyes are all over the place. What do you say to him?
That should do it. Just play Arnie and react to their questions. If they wonder about the crime (what happened to the victim?) tell them the facts (she was murdered in her home. stabbed with a knife from her kitchen. no forced entry.) and get back to the interview.
Here's the thing: Arnie's wife—the victim's sister—did the actual murder. A crime of passion when she found out that Arnie and Sarah slept together. Arnie was there during the murder. He was seen leaving the house (but his wife wasn't).
Arnie feels guilty and desperate. He might crack or he might clam up or he might lie and say he did it to cover for his wife. Just play him in the moment and react to the cop's questions.
If he lies, tell them it looks like he's lying. Don't make it a big mystery to solve. This is about what the cop will do and say to get at the truth.
When it happens that the cop presses Arnie and he doesn't want to answer ("That's a lie and you know it! Who was there with you?") then say this:
We're at an impasse! You want Arnie to talk and he wants to lie and get away with it and be left alone. Who gets what they want? This is where the game part comes in. Our rule is: You can force Arnie to answer you three times. (Hold up 3 fingers). Just say how you force him to answer, and he'll have to tell you the truth. The catch is, each time you force him you have to do more to get him to answer.
Be pretty strict about your promise of 5 minutes. Once you hit the time limit, say, "So it's been five minutes... I think that basically shows the idea." If they're all desperate to find out the truth from Arnie still, then good! It's gone well. Go ahead and keep playing if it seems appropriate, or maybe take that opportunity to invite them to a game night.