The award is typically bestowed to one player only, although there are also hosts who have elected not to give an MVP award (Movie Mafia) if they feel there are multiple players (usually an entire Faction) deserving this or 2 MVP awards (Amber Mafia) if they feel the game is sufficiently complex to give out 2 MVP awards.
The story behind the MVP Award is that people were mad that all players were getting rep points for winning games and that some didn't do anything to deserve them. E.g. if a Goodie dies N1 they would get the same rep points as that Goodie who led the lynches and won the game. Sometime during Era 5 it was decided to start asking hosts to give MVP Awards. So in a sense the rep points were promoting activity and not how good a player was and this was our way of fixing it.
Hosts are free to select and declare a person MVP if they feel that person has contributed decisively to own faction win, or has influenced the game by a clever move or a series of well-thought moves or whomever they feel is "most valuable". The definition varies from host to host. Of course, subjectivity means some players may disagree.
- Hosts seem to be biased towards players that are there in the end to ensure the final victory i.e. alive players.
- Some hosts may think that MVP requires you to have been on the wining side and survived till the end of the game. This type of bias may have precluded recognition of some good game playing in the past.
- There is also a Newbie-Move Bias. As a host you see a new player, you see a nice move or steady on his feet the whole game, you feel almost "obliged" to give him the MVP award. Newer players catch a host's attention.
- Another bias exhibited is towards the Indy MVP - Many times, after an Indy win, hosts will choose the Indy. It's almost natural. Being the sole-winner seems like it should automatically award you an MVP. This is natural if the win comes from Mafia skills, but if one wins solely due to a combinations of accidents or straightforward blunders from the other factions this should not qualify as an automatic MVP award.
- See discussion here .