What is a Megagame ?
The query of what is a megagame seems to one of those innate questions that no one seems to be able to nail down to a specific or albeit definitive answer.
Defining a Megagame
According to the designers of the original MegaGames, Megagame Makers UK:
A Megagame is a multi-player game, in which, usually the participants are organised into teams, and those teams into an hierarchy of teams. Megagames are challenging, interesting, and fun. Teams of players take on specific roles – for example as a military headquarters, or a national government, and they interact with other teams representing their opponents or allies.
Honestly though every game is different and can range from being fairly simple in premise to outright organized chaos. Even the game concepts themselves can vary from futuristic space based adventures to historically based scenarios that can go off on wild tangents compared to written history. You can even end up in some pretty inventive plots based off popular TV, Film and Video Game genres.
The amount of players involved also varies from game to game and can operate with small groups of 15-20 players all the way up to large scale endeavors. There was a game of “Watch The Skies” in 2015 that topped out at 300 people.
So its like a board game then ?
In a very basic notion …. Yes! …. but also No!
I will try to explain this with an analogy to a game that many people will know and that is the good old family classic of Monopoly.
Most of us know the game concept and its rules in general, you have the main board, the Chance and Community Chest card, the game currency, the dice and the Eight player tokens, which going by the latest version is made up of the Battleship, Cat, Penguin, Race Car, Rubber Duck, Scottie Dog, Top Hat and T-Rex
This is going to be very abstract so go with me here …..
So in our Monopoly Megagame the board would be replaced with a printed version the same size as several tables, but rather than having eight players sat around the board, you would have eight teams sat at different tables spaced out around the room. Now each team would be broken up into a set amount of players, with each player being responsible for a particular task.
One may be tasked with rolling the dice moving the pieces, and placing houses or hotels, another may be tasked with negotiating the purchase or sale of a street, while another may be tasked with a bit of political subterfuge to scupper another team.
Like i said the concept is abstract but it gives you the idea.
So how does a Megagame play out?
Some games play out like huge historical war games and are primarily about politics, negotiation, cooperation or domination. A majority of them though, are about gathering of information, interpersonal communication and decision making based on a teams briefing and agenda.
But the one thing that you can always count on and is the monumental indifference of the human player, which in my opinion is the biggest positive of any megagme.
You can play the same megagame several times and it will never play out the same. The random and often creative complexity of the human brain will allow people to either stick to their given agenda or throw everything over the shoulder and go completely rouge, the possibilities of outcome are simply endless.
So which type of people play megagames ?
This is a very simple answer ….. Quite literally Anyone !
Whether you are just a classic gamer, a doting amateur dramatics fan, an avid cosplayer or a full on role player, anyone and everyone can play a megagame to whatever comfort level they like.
At every megagame you will see a boundless range of people from all walks of life. From the quiet and introverted people to the loud and extroverted of us all.
I can personally vouch as someone that has Asperger’s and is generally quite introverted, that i have yet to attend a megagame where i have not felt comfortable. I have even started getting into the cosplay side of things due to the encouragement of the people that attend.
So if you like board games with the ever changing remit of possibilities brought about by the novel intricacies that only the human mind can bring, with a large group of like minded people then look deeper into Megagaming …. Even better, just join us for our next event!