Lying is something we’ve all done in video games though, usually, it it isn’t to actually play the game in its true form. In the Town of Salem, player are expected to lie directly and often. Well, some of them anyways.
From History classes we should all know exactly what the Salem Witch Trials were. In this game you are expected to root out evil as a member of the little, suspicious town of Salem, but the game adds in a few obscure mechanics that we don’t see implemented in anything outside of chat rooms. Lying and Anonymity are taken further in this game to instill anxiety and uncertainty to every move the town makes. With every word you speak, every deed you do as your town function, be it watching others move around at night or throwing someone in Jail, you move closer and closer to the inevitable if you become too suspicious and you are unable to find the murderer hunting everyone down. Hanging from the noose.
Now, this all seems like the game would be destined to throw off the lying and anonymity that if puts upon players, but the designers thought of how to make it more like another work done on Salem in the 1950s, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Just like in The Crucible, there are others within the town which have less than pure agendas. When playing the vanilla portion of Town of Salem you will find that there is the Executioner, a crazed, murder hungry towns-person who needs to kill a target to feel his bloodlust sated. There is also the Jester which spokes nonsense and death so he may die and take revenge upon a member of the town as a cruel joke.
Finally, the game has a second affiliation within the game, The Mafia. The Mafia must be wiped out by the town. A task easier said than done when friend and foe wear new names that aren’t their username and anyone’s job is in question. Most of all, a Serial Killer hunts down one person each night and can leave bloody notes as calling cards of even damning evidence of innocents. The Mafia itself even partakes in the killings each night as it worries about dying from the the Serial Killer.
The Town of Salem replicates a plausible situation which some believe is what truly happened behind the Salem Witch Trials and does it perfectly with the implications of these obscure mechanics of hiding yourself not with just a username from friends, but a double username to fool even those you know and lying through your teeth to survive and figure out just who is friend or foe in a den of liars all wanting to either live like you, take over the town, or, simply, watch the town burn under a river of blood.