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When The Meta-Game is the Only Game

There’s an interesting article over on Boardgame News discussing the role of meta-gaming in what the author, Tom Lehmann, refers to as conflict/diplomacy games. His argument goes that often in games of this type, such as Twilight Imperium or, well, Diplomacy, the meta-game is often seperate in some important ways from the mechanics of the game itself, and too often becomes the only game that matters. In his opinion this is less common in ‘Euro games’ that emphasize economics over conflict, as the predominant strategies are more closely linked to actual mechanics in the game design.

Lehmann brings up an interesting question that comes up in board gaming a lot: how legitimate are manuevers that are outside the ruleset of the game, such as alliances or emotional manipulation? By extension, what do we lose as games, even board games, move online and meta-gaming becomes more rare?

One Comment

  1. Frank wrote:

    Fantastic article. This kind of smart writing about boardgames makes a lot of videogame criticism seem impoverished by comparison.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 2:39 am | Permalink

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  1. When The Meta-Game is the Only Game | Online Gaming on Monday, September 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    [...] post by GAME DESIGN ADVANCE [...]

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