The folklore: In gamer culture (in League of Legends), there is always something called a “meta.” The meta is referred to by gamers as something that is the most popular or trending style of play at the time.
Informant is a 39 year old Ecuadorian male, who plays the video game, League of Legends. League of Legends is a multi-player real time game where teams battle each other.
Informant’s Folklore: The “meta” means the style of the game that people are playing at that time. For example, the trend at the time. So the meta this week, everyone is playing this one particular character because they saw one of the best players in the world playing this character and kicked ass. So now everyone wants to play that character, so that character becomes the new meta. It also can apply to how you play the game, and the strategies you use.
Informant: Where did you learn this from?
Collector: I just learned it from people talking. I remember someone I met online said “meta” in a group chat on League of Legends, and I was like what does that mean? And they explained it to me.
Informant: What does this mean?
Collector: Well, the players of League will always try to find the most powerful player in the game, and they will try to exploit that character. And League of Legends notices it and nerfs the character by taking away some of his power. So by nerfing him, it makes another character more powerful. And the whole process changes it.
Informant: Why do you think they do it?
Collector: It’s like chasing the white rabbit, because they’re trying to make the game as fair as possible.
I think that the gamer culture, just like any other entertainment culture, developed the idea of the “meta” to reflect what’s popular or trending. It’s a saying that’s known to the League of Legends’ gamer community: you only know what it means if you’re part of that community and if you stay up with the trends.