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What is Metagaming: A Brief Overview
Updated · Sep 28, 2023
Metagaming is a term widely used in the gaming community to refer to a strategy that goes beyond the game's core mechanics. It involves using external knowledge or tactics to gain an advantage over opponents.
🔑 Metagaming enhances gaming strategies by utilizing external knowledge and tactics to gain an advantage over opponents.
🔑 Players get divided as a result of metagaming's effects on gameplay. Some role-playing elements of games may be compromised, even though they greatly benefit meta-gamers.
🔑 Metagaming can be observed in multiple games, such as video games or board games.
🔑 Among Us is a metagame that uses game mechanics and players' ability to recognize behavioral patterns in what they do.
🔑 Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Online heavily relies on metagaming to fully immerse in the game.
🔑Since metagaming can improve tactical play and competition, it is essential to balance using outside knowledge and guaranteeing a fair gaming experience for all players.
In this article, we delve into metagaming in video games, exploring what it means, how it works, and its various examples in popular titles.
Feel free to embark on this gaming journey to understand the metagaming world.
What Does Metagaming Mean?
Metagaming is a strategic approach to gaming that encompasses actions, decisions, and behaviors outside the game's intended mechanics.
A different understanding of metagaming is related to games that rely on role-playing. In this context, metagaming takes the form of OOC (Out-of-character) knowledge used to the metagame's advantage in an in-game scenario.
Players use their knowledge of the metagame, which consists of the prevailing strategies and trends, to gain an advantage.
Metagaming involves utilizing knowledge from sources outside the game, such as forums, guides, professional players' strategies, and stream sniping.
As it adds a new level of complexity and depth to gameplay, this phenomenon tremendously impacts the gaming experience.
Examples of Metagaming
Metagaming can be observed in multiple games, whether video or tabletop. Games such as Among Us, eSports, GTA V, and Dungeons & Dragons have had their fair share of instances of metagaming.
In this section, we will explore how metagaming manifests in specific popular video games:
Metagaming in Among Us
Among Us, a social deduction game is notorious for metagaming tactics. Players use their understanding of the game's mechanics and behavioral patterns to deduce the impostors' identities.
For instance, if a player accuses someone based on information from a previous round or unrelated to the current situation, they might be metagaming.
Playing after watching a stream is another example. You can play this in a metagame when you watch a stream about the game before playing one.
Another one is playing with a streamer. Using the information the stream may display, one might use metagame to obtain an unfair advantage. This can quickly lead to the detection of the impostor.
This outside knowledge can lead to successful detective work or result in failed accusations.
👍 Helpful Article:
In 2018, they released a game about betrayal in space called Among Us. Two years later, it peaked at 60 million daily players, with 400 million players worldwide.
Metagaming in GTA
Metagaming is a common strategy gamers use in Grand Theft Auto (GTA) Online to streamline their actions and bypass law enforcement.
The open-ended setting of GTA gameplay allows the player to take part in a variety of side activities as well as perform tasks that advance the main plot. With occasional role-playing and stealth factors, driving and shooting make up most of the gameplay.
Players can become better fenders by learning the best escape routes, weapon statistics, and mission methods through online sources and community discussions.
Taking action after being suddenly killed without knowing where you were shot or run over in-game might be a superb metagaming scenario. Particularly in RP, the character you play should not remember how you died if you die in-game.
💡 Did You Know?
Currently, the GTA series has 16 titles, including a multiplayer game, two expansions for GTA 4, and the original game.
Metagaming in Dungeons & Dragons
Tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons also have a metagaming aspect. Players might use their knowledge of the game's mechanics and creatures to make better tactical decisions during combat or while navigating challenging scenarios.
However, since it blurs the line between player facts and character knowledge, D&D metagaming can occasionally result in situations that break realism.
Metagaming in Esports
Metagaming is crucial in competitive Esports titles like League of Legends or Overwatch.
Professional players and teams study their opponents' strategies and adapt their gameplay accordingly. They also analyze patch changes and character balances to predict compelling compositions and tactics.
This allows them to maintain a competitive edge in high-stakes tournaments.
The first eSports competition took place in 1972 with 10,000 attendees. The prize is a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone magazine.
Metagaming involves utilizing external knowledge and tactics to gain an advantage over opponents. The examples in popular games like Among Us, GTA, Dungeons & Dragons, and eSports showcased the diversity of metagaming strategies across different genres.
While metagaming can enhance strategic gameplay and competitiveness, balancing outside knowledge with maintaining a fair gaming experience for all players is essential.
As gaming communities evolve and games receive updates, metagaming strategies will continue to adapt and shape the ever-changing landscape of video games.
Is metagaming considered fair play?
Metagaming is a controversial topic in gaming communities. While it can enhance strategic gameplay, some players argue that relying too heavily on external knowledge detracts from the immersive experience and fairness of the game.
Can metagaming be detrimental to the gaming experience?
Yes, excessive metagaming can negatively impact the gaming experience. Players prioritizing outside knowledge over organic gameplay may lead to accusations of cheating or break immersion within the game's world.
What are the key components of metagaming in video games?
Metagaming in video games comprises two key components: using external knowledge, such as guides or professional player strategies, and predicting opponents' actions to gain a competitive edge.
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