Resistance: What do votes mean?

Advice to new “The Resistance” players is often something like “watch how people vote on proposed missions, it is a great way to gain information.”

But determining the reason for a vote is complicated. And there might not be a single reason. Players think about a combination of things and condense it down into a single approve or reject vote. This can include game aspects like previous mission results and voting histories. Or social aspects like body language and gut feelings.

Converting all these things into a simple answer means a lot of information is not communicated to other players.

For example, here are some situations where a player could reject the proposed mission:

  • She is a rebel, knows nothing about the members of mission, and the vote tracker is at a comfortable level.
  • She is a rebel and thinks there is a spy on the mission.
  • She is a spy and only rebels are on the mission.
  • She is a spy and a spy is on the mission. But other players are against it.

In these examples, the motivations are all different. Looking solely at a vote cannot reveal the reasons behind it. But it does say something about the player.

Voting is a choice, and results are going to be seen by everyone. So at a minimum, the player is telling us how she is willing to be perceived. It is like she is saying: “It is important to me that everyone thinks I want to vote this way, regardless of what I actually want.” Or she may be saying: “It does not matter what you will think of me, voting this way is worth it.”

With this as our basis, we can begin to consider other aspects.

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