The New Best Way To Argue About Video Games

The New Best Way To Argue About Video Games

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 centres 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 theatre, 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 metagame site, They are temporarily out of copies, but that should be remedied soon, and we’ll be sure to update when they have more.

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]


  • I could argue that Lemmings is more movielike than Doom.

    Lemmings is a journey in its purest form, a story that pivots on the deus ex machina, the hand of God, to propel the story. In contrast the game Doom was so unlike a movie, that they actually had to make a movie of it.

    I would be good at this game.

    • The “right” bunch of people does not exist in my sphere, and even if they did I’m not sure the scene around the table could be describes as “right’. I can imagine a stranger walking in, puzzling over what exactly was being played for a moment then swivelling on their heel and getting the hell outta there! Still in a parallel universe where I mix with such types in a physical location. I’d love to give it a bash.

      • They do have a culture edition on the site which could work for most people.

        Also looking at their website, the $20 price tag isn’t too bad. The $15 shipping charges are a bit expensive though, but $35 isn’t a bad price nonetheless. I’ll wait for the next reprint and consider ordering the cards again.

        That being said I wish they had an online edition on the site to tide us over as we wait for the reprint. I guess I could play a bootleg version of the game with handwritten cards but it doesn’t feel right.

        Mark, have you received any pack?s These would be great for any Kotaku meet up.

  • “Thanks to a new card came called “The Metagame,” ”

    A card has an orgasm? And the metagame was created?

    *giggles* I’m so juvenile…

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