Metagaming

Posted: April 8, 2009 by Salvatore Otoro in Bad Role Play, Examples of Role Play
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

the streets of Lost Angels

the streets of Lost Angels

 

The following is a scene that played out just a few days ago.  There are three characters in this scene, Demon X, SR, and myself.  SR is from what I can gather a new player or relatively new because of what she was doing from the very beginning of this scene, metagamingMetagaming is when you use any sort of information that was gained OOC (Out of Character) to use IC (In Character).  An example would be someone you just met using the name above your head without ever having met you or having been told of you.  This is widely frowned on by the role playing community because in real life, you would not know someone’s name having met them the first time. When we are in Second Life we have our name above our heads at all times.  In our role play sim, we have out meters which detect damage, show status, and level.  We also may have, as I do, other descriptive text above our heads but solely for reference purposes only.  My friend Demon X wears a tail but is otherwise human in appearance and I am completely human in appearance yet carry the title of incubus above my head.  With this in mind read on.

 

The scene is as follows:  DemonX and I are standing on a rooftop looking over the city when a human appearing female, SR, climbs up and joins us.  Neither of us had ever seen or addressed her before.

Click here to read the dialogue


Three possible scenarios could happen here.
  1. Deciding to completely ignore this person.
  2. Threatening to kill them for knowing too much.
  3. Reporting them to a GM.
We decided to ignore her but a call to a GM would render sanctions and killing them would be a waste of time, why bother.
The best way to keep from metagaming is to check whether you have met this person before.  Do not read tags or descriptions to use later in your roleplaying.  Also do not use OOC comments in your IC (in character) chat.  This will ensure that you have a smooth roleplay session.
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Comments
  1. Vere Messerchmitt says:

    The above example is but ONE possible form of Metagaming. More broadly, Metagaming is the use of ANY Out Of Character knowledge or ability regarding another person, plot, place, or so on, to influence In-Character Roleplay.

    And while I find that people calling you by your name before you’ve actually been ICly introduced is a common faux pas among beginning Roleplayers (or the uninitiated), there are far worse and likely more malicious ways one can Metagame.

    People might for instance satisfy OOC grudges against other players by inflicting penalties ICly- and this is particularly disruptive if the Metagamer occupies any position of influence ICly, such as being a member of local law enforcement and throwing another in Jail for no other reason apart from disliking the Character’s player

    A good Second Life-specific example of Metagaming might be using the cam-and-sit mechanic to gain entry to a place your character should not normally have access to- such as an underground secure vault, so on and so forth- using an SL mechanic to violate the normal bounds of Roleplay.

    In short the avoidance of Metagaming is all about keeping that which is IC and OOC separate and each self-contained unto itself, and not JUST about keeping names straight.

    • I agree completely. There are many other forms of metagaming and I have edited the post to reflect that. Two more examples of metagaming would be places that are warded from entry by some sort of power or magic. Simply walking into these places because you can without obeying the wards is another form of metagaming. Use of the minimap to track players is also considered metagaming.

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