RPG Theory Glossary: M

A broadly-used term with multiple meanings. (1) Most commonly, this means dealing with concerns of the players and GM, as opposed to the characters in the gameworld. Examples of metagame concerns could include spotlight time, plot scripting, and who brought the munchies. i.e. External to the diegesis. (2) Within GNS theory, this is a Character Component including all positioning and behavioral statements about the character, as well as player rights to override the existing Effectiveness rules. (3) Within Ron Edwards' layered model, all aspects of play that concern non-Explorative matters or priorities -- i.e. Social Contract and GNS mode (aka Creative Agenda).
Metagame mechanics
Traditionally, mechanics which are not representative of in-game reality. For example, plot points or Drama Deck cards would be examples. In Ron Edwards' Big Model, this is termed as "where System and Social Contract meet, without Exploration as the medium."
A widely-used term for an overarching plot which appears in published RPG books, such that over many published books (including several game series from White Wolf) you can read about the adventures of these characters. How this is supposed to apply to ongoing games is a matter of considerable debate.
Method Actor
A common term for players who immerse heavily in character (cf. Immersion). This corresponds to the "roleplayer" type of the Blacow Player Types, which was later renamed by Robin Laws as the "Method Actor" in his seven player types.
Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering
Player Types (from Glen Blacow and Robin D. Laws)
Broadly, a small or immature person (from The Wizard of Oz film). In gaming, it is a derogatory term which can suggest various behaviors considered immature, such as Power Gaming or Gamism or Hard Core play.
The Munchkin's Guide to Power Gaming

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Tue Mar 18 15:19:07 2008