Tag Archives: metagaming
My wife and I love to engage in a rousing game of Scrabble. Perhaps, however, not quite as rousing as the image above.
She claims I’m a little competitive. Ha!
We started with Scrabble early on in our relationship. She would routinely skewer my tushy and hand it back to me on a platter. I didn’t like that much. So I decided to teach her the game of backgammon. I considered myself quite accomplished at that particular game. I stomped her in backgammon for quite some time. But then something rather untoward happened.
It seems she had downloaded a little program called JellyFish which plays a very mean game of backgammon. She grappled with that thing with a stubborn fierceness. And she learned from that grappling. And she improved. Soon our matches were increasingly close, often decided by only one point. Then the tables turned and she started coming out on top on a routine basis! And the margins of her victory grew decisive.
It was time to give Scrabble another try. 🙂
She still creams me but lately I’ve made some progress. I’ve won the last two games in a row. I do believe that is some sort of record.
Recently a bit of controversy has erupted and we seem to have lost our copy of the rules. In a nutshell, the quandary is this: Do you have to know the meaning of a word to play it in Scrabble? She claims you should be able to define the word. I claim it doesn’t matter. If you know it isn’t a word, feel free to challenge!
What’s the strategy here? It’s part spelling and part bluffing with a bit of Balderdash thrown in.
Me: F-L-I-B-B-I-N. That’s 18, plus a double word score. Ah, 36 points!
Her: What the hell is a flibbin?
Me: You know. A flibbin!
Her: Use it in a sentence.
Me: “My feelings for my wife are decidedly flibbin.”
Her: That’s bullshit.
Me: Are you sure? Go ahead and challenge.
Her: How many points did you get off that again?
Me: What difference does that make?
Her: Fine. Whatever, asshole.
Me: So that’s an official un-challenge?
Her: Yeah, hand me the fucking dictionary.
And no, don’t even tell me about any urban dictionary meaning. We’re innocent people and any similarity to a word on that web site is purely coincidental.
Then one day I played the word “kingside.” BINGO! Now I’ll admit. I had absolutely no idea if this was a word. In fact, I highly doubted it. But I played it with supreme confidence. For those kind of points it’s worth a little risk. I got challenged. We looked it up.
kingside: the side of a chessboard containing the file on which the king sits at the beginning of the game
Seriously. Why do women get so angry sometimes? 🙂
I call this sort of thing the “metagame.” Bluffing. Misdirection. Reverse psychology bluffing. You know – keeping your opponent totally off guard. What is metagaming? As always, Wikipedia rides in to the rescue:
Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.
Here’s an example of how it works – in my opinion. You’re playing a against someone you’ve played before. You know this person almost always employs a certain strategy. So you decide to employ a strategy that is the best against what you expect your opponent will do. You are making decisions based on information external to the rules and environment of the game.
But wait. You know that your opponent knows that you know his favorite strategy. So he might expect you to base your strategy based on that knowledge. Based on that, he might choose to do the opposite of what you expect. Now your strategy is the wrong one.
So knowing that, what do you do? LOL! See what I mean? This is where the real fun starts.
Me? Competitive? Naw. I don’t know what in the world you’re talking about! 🙂