The Godfather Game

The Godfather Game is the first “Mafia-style” game of television. In fact the competitors will need to pay protection money to the Godfather at the end of each round, in order to avoid the risk of being “taken care of” by his henchmen.

“We’re gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse….”

 In the first 3 rounds of the game, 2 teams of 4 players respond to a series of open-ended questions asked by the program host. For each correct answer, a certain amount of money is awarded, like in every game.

However, at the end of each round, the host excuses himself and leaves, and the Godfather triumphantly enters the scene, escorted by two of his henchmen. And it is at this point that things no longer continue like in a normal game…

The Godfather in fact demands that the two teams pay him the protection money. It’s up to the players to decide how much to give him (based on their earnings and the strategy they want to adopt), writing the amount in a closed envelope. The 2 amounts will be subtracted from the teams’ total prize money, whatever happens.

The envelopes are delivered to the Godfather by one of the players in each team. The Godfather opens the envelopes and reads the two amounts. The representative of the team who has given the highest amount is safe, and can re-join his team mates.

The other player, however, is in trouble. He has only one possibility to save himself: to respond to a “mafia style” question asked by the Godfather. If he responds correctly he is safe and he, too, can join his team mates.  Otherwise, he is done for: the henchmen “remove him” in their typical style (they put him in a bag and drag him away, or they make him fall through a trap door with a cement block around his feet….).

At the final game, the two teams consequently end up with a different jackpot and (presumably) also a different number of players. And this is the critical moment: because the fewer the players, the lower is the possibility of victory. Although, in this crazy game nothing is ever decided until the end…