What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mafia Wars is a Facebook application that encourages players to bully, kill, and steal from other players, or to take jobs against non-playable characters in a quest-style setting and use illegal means to accomplish the various jobs. It also entices players to spend real-world money to buy coins to spend within the game's marketplace on items to make their mafias stronger.
What's it about?
Mafia Wars is a browser-based Facebook game in which players take control of gangs and run businesses, do jobs centered around illegal activities, and battle police or fight other players to level up.There is no direct contact between players, but friends can put out contracts on other players, compete against each other in a 'war,' or send each other gifts pertinent to the game's activities. The idea is to have the largest mafia, build hourly income, and buy armaments to fight other players.
Is it any good?
Mafia Wars is a mild diversion that has some depth of play but is not that compelling. The underlying message displaces reality and focuses on illicit activities, sending out a message that is inappropriate for younger players. This is a game that targets an adult audience, or at least one that can easily tell right from wrong and understands the concept of consequences for illegal behavior. There are better, more constructive Facebook games that are more engaging and enjoyable.
Online interaction: Other Facebook friends can be invited to join the Mafia to bolster ranks, but there is no direct communication with other players within the game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the impact that violence in media has within the lives of real people.
They can also discuss how some games offer quick paths to success through spending money and how this is a form of marketing that is used to draw people in and then get them to spend money.
Why do many games allow players to be bad and encourage illegal behavior? Families might want to discuss why it is important to understand the difference between pretend and real-world actions.