Meta: Gamer Slang

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Main Piece: A meta is something that is mainstream. When playing competitive multiplayer games, there are always certain parts of the game, like characters, weapons, strategies that are better than the rest. When it comes to a high level of play where people are closer in terms of skill, every advantage you can take counts. Because of that, a bunch of people have coined that term, for things in a game that is trending or popular. These are most of the time made by professional gamers and streamers who are popular within the gaming community. Now whenever something is popular or trending, my friends and I call it meta like saying “Oh this is the new meta” when we do something crazy or out of the box. That could also be off-meta. It’s something we use whenever there’s a recommendation.

Context: The informant identifies as a gamer and has been playing various video games since they were in grade school. He first found out about what a meta is through popular gamers on youtube and twitch.

Thoughts: Although video games are most of the time connotated with leisure and play, there is a side of gaming that is extremely competitive. It tells a lot about the entertainment industry and how it’s shifting towards a more digital era. Athletes are normally seen as big, bulky guys but now with the integration of Esports, the image of the athlete changes. The use of a meta validates how competitive video games are contrary to popular beliefs.