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The New Best Way To Argue About Video Games [Now Back in Stock]

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Metagame Video

About a month ago, I wrote the following post about "The Metagame," a fun card game dedicated to fostering debate about video games. Right as I published it, however, the folks behind the game ran out of inventory. They've just gotten more printed, so I thought I'd re-post now that you can order your own deck.

Is Starcraft more hardcore than Super Meat Boy? Is Passage a better metaphor for life than Flower? We all love to argue about video games. Thanks to a new card came called "The Metagame," we can make a game out of those very arguments, and have a ton of fun in the process.


The Metagame was designed by an experimental game collective called Local 12, which consists of brilliant game-brain designers Eric Zimmerman, Colleen Macklin, and John Sharp. It's a card game that fosters friendly debates about the various aspects of games. In the video above, I show how it works.

It's pretty simple, really. There are two types of cards: "Game Cards," with feature the names of various video games, and "Comparison Cards," which ask questions like "Which is sexier?" and "Which lets players express themselves more?"


Each round centers around one comparison card—players are dealt a hand of game cards and choose which game they want to argue for. The rules are very flexible—there are a number of game types on the included instruction manual, but you're free to come up with whatever works. In the basic "duel," each player has one minute to argue for his or her chosen game, and then the judge decides the winner.

It is extremely fun, given the right crowd. On Friday night with some friends I played a bunch of rounds and had a blast. At one point I found myself presenting a case for why Lemmings was more like a movie than Doom. My argument: "Imagine the experience of going to a movie. A whole bunch of people have decided to go on opening weekend. You follow along, since it seems like the thing to do. As you walk towards the theater, the crowd of attendees grows and grows…"

My opponent's argument: "Doom was made into a movie."

I think I lost.

Watch the video to get a sense of what the game and its cards are like. You can read about The Metagame's history here and order copies through the official store.


I wonder if in the next edition there will be a card for "The Metagame" and if so, if playing it will cause the universe will implode?

Metagame [Official Site]