Mafia Wars Bangkok

A couple of days ago I was sat at a table having a drink with two of the biggest gangsters in Bangkok, Death Scot and Naughty Nerrad. The two of them had only been in the Big Mango for two months but they had already accumulated over eight million baht between them.

The talk was all about silk shirts, tuk tuks, machetes and machine guns. I felt a little out of my league even though I had once fired a catapult at a soi dog in an Isaan village. I didn’t tell them the catapult travelled a metre and the stone fell at my feet.

Naughty Nerrad gave me a long cold stare straight in my eyes. He held up his phone and with a voice more nonce than New York Bronx, he spoke.

” Here’s the information you need, read it.”

I logged it in my mind…

Some of my work colleagues are into Facebook’s online game Mafia Wars (Zynga Game Network) in a big, big way and it was over a coffee during a work break that I got involved in my conversation with Death Scot and Naughty Nerrad, better known around our workplace as Doreen and Darren.

Figures released for October 2009 revealed the increasingly popular game had 25.9 million active accounts. Here’s how Wikipedia explains the basics of the game.

‘ Mafia Wars is set in New York City and Little Italy, with the option for players to travel between New York, Cuba (level 35+), Moscow (level 70+) and Bangkok (upon unlocking items from New York levels, level 18+), and in 2010, Las Vegas. The game revolves around doing and mastering jobs in order to earn cash and experience, with the goal of establishing and advancing one’s criminal empire. ‘

The game’s aim is to advance from a street thug to become Boss in New York and from a lowly El Soldado in Cuba to the top dog position of El Cacique. If your wardrobe’s not riddled with bullet holes and your moll’s not a widow then you can head off to Moscow to fight and scheme your way up from a Baklany to Pakhan. Bangkok’s route to the top is Brawler, Criminal, Pirate, Commandant, Oyabun and Dragon Head. No mention of a Doreen or Darren amongst them.

Mafia Wars game designer Zynga first put you on the streets of Bangkok to make money as a Brawler doing small jobs and a chance to progress from eating cheap 7- Eleven noodles to making oodles of cash. The pay is poor but the idea is to save enough money to buy your own businesses.

Moving Stolen Art Through Suvarnabhumi Airport pays a paltry 372 baht plus the risk of getting turned over in duty free. Progress to Dragon Head status and you can earn 1,868 baht to Set Up A Drug Shipment To China. Somehow I don’t think the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will be endorsing this game.

Each ‘little earner’ requires certain tools of the trade to complete the task and their values are a little strange. A silk shirt will cost you 2,200 baht, but to buy a tuk tuk you’ll only pay 800 baht more. If those virtual prices become reality then Bangkok’s tuk tuk drivers will finish each day’s work by locking their silk shirt safely in the garage, and hanging their tuk tuk on a washing line. I can only assume Zynga’s game researchers have progressed to Dragon Head and they’re now smoking the stuff they should be shipping to China.

If the Tourism Authority of Thailand were thinking of forgiving Zynga for their portrayal of life in the Big Mango then I’d like to point out to them some of the businesses on offer in Mafia Wars Bangkok.

  • Fighting Fish Arena
  • Cockfighting Pen
  • Tourist Guide Scam (ouch)
  • Gambling Den
  • Gun Running Operation
  • Yaa Baa Parlour (drugs)

After the TAT read that lot, I’d be very surprised if Zynga can get a Beer Singha in Thailand.

Mafia Wars Bangkok is Zynga’s latest add on to their very popular and addictive Mafia Wars game and if you’d like to join in the fun on Facebook, click on the link here. Mafia Wars is also available on MySpace, Tagged, Sonico, Yahoo and was recently released as a free downloadable iPhone application. Good luck.


Photograph Mafia  by albertopveiga


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

16 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn no wonder I can’t get online in LOS once the gamers leave school at 4pm!!
    Thais should be tops at this game 🙂
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Attacus atlas-Atlas Moth Photo/Image =-.

  2. loki says:

    I continue to turn down facebook offers of a life of crime. Momma done taught me right!
    .-= loki´s last blog ..A Dog of High Intelligence, a Dog With Eyebrows =-.

  3. Talen says:

    The only thing more annoying than Mafia wars is Farmville…the main reason I don’t even bother with facebook anymore. One thing is for sure though, the creators were smart enough to get thousands of people to spam the game everywhere and they are definitely laughing all the way to the bank.
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..Elephant Nature Foundation & Park =-.

  4. Hoo Don says:

    Mike sorry about the long time it has taken me to reply but my server went down for a few hours. Believe me when I use an internet cafe in Thailand I get there long before the schools close and hopefully back out as well. Thai kids adore playing games on the net.

  5. Hoo Don says:

    Talen I did play Mafia Wars for about one week and then gave up, this was way before they introduced Bangkok to it. The game was basic but okay, however it takes a lot of your time and I wasn’t prepared to put that in. Here’s the sort of money involved, source Wikipedia.

    The makers of a similar online game, Mob Wars, sued Zynga over their launch of Mafia Wars, accusing Zynga of copyright infringement. Zynga made some changes to Mafia Wars so it wouldn’t resemble Mob Wars as closely, but Mob Wars creator David Maestri moved forward with his lawsuit. In September 2009, Maestri and Zynga settled the case for about $7–$9 million, less than the $10 million Maestri had originally demanded.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    loki – If you’re a blogger like yourself then Mafia Wars is really going to eat into your time and as you know that’s something which can be put to better use.

  7. Catherine says:

    So THAT’S what BKK Mafia wars are all about. Thanks for the heads up Martyn. I keep seeing references to it, but nothing concrete has come my way until now.

    (Something like that… I’m still working my way through the first cuppa of the day so the brain is in a foggy fugg)

    The only activity I do on FB is communicate with people. Sending me a G&T is a waste of good pixels because I won’t join the ap necessary to collect it. But pokes are free gratis.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..A Toad Trip: Friendly Frogs Draw Tourists to Temple =-.

  8. Emm says:

    Hahahaha! This is the cutest post ever! I was absolutely taken in by the first lines and thought “how on earth did Martyn meet real live gangsters and can he organise an interview for my other blog?”

    I am SO addicted to all of the Mind Games with their Sudoku and everything that I know better than to get involved with mafia wars. I knew better than to pick up Sudoku too and look where it got me.
    .-= Emm´s last blog ..A Yank Bank to England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns =-.

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine that’s my version of Mafia Wars, the game has a little more to it but I think I summed up the game play in general. Virtual G&T’s, yes my facebook account is full of things like that but I don’t use FB much at all. I thought it might be good (FB) for a few hits but I don’t get much traffic from there at all. I’m hoping my post might change that a little bit.

  10. Hoo Don says:

    Emm sorry for luring you into the story but that’s exactly how it happened. I sat down with two workmates and as often happens they were talking about Mafia Wars. I thought Bangkok, mafia, why not and when I got home put the review down. I tend to leave these kind of games alone because I know how addictive they are.

  11. Catherine says:

    Martyn, I don’t use FB for WLT. My account is mainly design industry based. There are a lot of designers on FB (we found it yaks ages ago and swarmed all over it).

    Every once in awhile I send something Thai related to see if anyone is paying attention. And those are usually generated from my YouTube account automatically, as you can choose to link the two.

    There are Thai groups there, but not very active. They mainly sent out alerts and updates. Not much else.

  12. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine I have joined a couple of Thai groups on FB but I get little to no hits from them. I haven’t a YouTube account myself as I don’t like putting them on my site. I think their framed video screen looks really cheap and tacky. I know most people use them but so far I’ve resisted.

  13. Jade says:

    I don’t have much patience with online games.I’d rather blog or read 😛

  14. Hoo Don says:

    Jade I play a couple of online sports games and really enjoy them but they’re not overly time consuming. Mafia Wars takes up a lot of time and like you I’d rather blog.

  15. David says:

    I have been playing Mafia Wars for 3 months and have to agree, it takes so much time…
    .-= David´s last blog ..Mafia Wars Tips – 6 Tips You Should Know =-.

  16. I have seen mafia type games around. It would be very easy to get addicted to. How interesting that they chose Bangkok as the location for this game. I have been there and did not hear anything about mafia.

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