Monday, 9 January 2017

Meta Matters

This post is largely going to be a gripe. I'm one of those curmudgeonly types that is stickler for how language is used, e.g. you are not literally dead, though I wish you weren't wasting air. Granted, I get pretty loose with language at times, and enjoy the re-appropriate of colloquialisms and words into different contexts. So I'm a selective curmudgeon.

This brings me to the use of 'meta' within the context of Warmachine and Hordes, how I tense up and my ears bleed slightly when someone says it. Strictly speaking, the term 'meta' only indicates that something is being self-referential, describing a work that comments on the work itself.

So why is it used to describe gaming groups and trends? People will refer to how their "meta is different" from a "national meta", or the much maligned "shooting" and "all-jack metas". I can perceive a tenuous link that when describing a trend, it is a 'meta' because the discussion is about the trend that has arisen within the game and as I am typing this I am just going no this is not how the term works omg now I am cross eyed this is fucking dumb.

Potentially making any comment about the "meta-game" of Warmachine and Hordes, could conceivably refer to observing all trends that exist in context of one another. Or, by presenting other aspects of gaming the game, such as how discussion of list building is in itself a part of the game within the game.

But having a group of gamers out in the middle of bumfuck-nowhere does not a meta make.

I'm not even going to go into the hyperbolic statements of those saying the game is skewed towards a "shooting-meta" and a "jack-heavy", other than to say people need to step back from these statements and reassess what trends are actually existing. Because right now, these are comments on the game that continue to persist, and have at best situational supporting evidence. List construction is far more diverse than these statements may lead some to believe.

So yeah. Stop speak meta wrong.

Likely someone may have a differing point of view, an explanation for how meta is appropriate within the contexts its used on forums and in podcasts. Lay it on me.

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I other news, I've wanted to make a brief comment on how my last post has been rendered irrelevant by the errata. Easy come easy go I guess. Its a pity PP sought to change this, because I actually thought allowing those charging options was quite elegant - an omission of information that allowed for unique moves and awarded inventive play, as well as allowing the rules to be simpler. Unfortunately simple seems to mean strangling the life out of in-game options, but games inherently require boundaries and rules to work within, so I can live with it.

Otherwise, I've been getting my festive fingers into Mercs, playing a lot of Gorten - so I've managed 4 games with him, and have had a range of outcomes; from getting absolutely pummeled by tricksy Ret, to showing how bat-shit dominant he can be on Incursion. Going to enjoy unlocking this guy the more I play him.

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