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Games About Games
February 1, 2011 12:56 PM   Subscribe

"Over the last few years, I've been collecting examples of metagames — not the strategy of metagaming, but playable games about videogames. Most of these, like Desert Bus or Quest for the Crown, are one-joke games for a quick laugh. Others, like Cow Clicker and Upgrade Complete, are playable critiques of game mechanics. Some are even (gasp!) fun."
posted by brundlefly (44 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
Commented on his blog, because it's a great list, but it's missing The Linear RPG.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:02 PM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Metafilter metagame is cortex playing Minecraft insde a game of Minecraft inside a mine shaft.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:09 PM on February 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Compiled, of course, by mefi's own waxpancake.
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 1:09 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is great. I'm "playing" Close Range right now. It's hilarious in a way that only video game nerds find things hilarious, methinks.
posted by Mister_A at 1:13 PM on February 1, 2011


Great list. Nice work waxpancake.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:15 PM on February 1, 2011


The Metafilter metagame is cortex playing Minecraft insde a game of Minecraft inside a mine shaft.

I think that nicely captures our gemeinschaft.
posted by gurple at 1:16 PM on February 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


. . . or else there'd be gemeinschaft gap.
posted by grobstein at 1:19 PM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Close Range is taking an age to load. Is that part of the joke?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:25 PM on February 1, 2011


It doesn't answer me; I think we killed it with love.

Did he list the .hack// series?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:27 PM on February 1, 2011


Missing p0nd, the ultimate relaxing answer to "are games art?"
posted by blahblahblah at 1:35 PM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah man, fond memories of "Quest for the Crown" from my days at EA (it made the rounds on maxis fun n' games). Hahaha those credits... Peter Cetera... so perfect
posted by jcruelty at 1:35 PM on February 1, 2011


Inspired by Cowclicker, I have this idea for a game that's basically a labrat sim. Well, without all the nasty torture... I can't remember all the ideas (I should've written them down). There's multiple levels.

The first is the eponymous labrat. Clicking a lever to get a reward.
Then you play a scientist in a lab working for scientific discoveries/accolades, etc...
Then you play a CEO managing the scientist.
Then you can play against your friends as animal rights activists hindering them.

Something like that.
posted by symbioid at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


BTW thanks for this, it's a topic of deep fascination to me
posted by jcruelty at 1:36 PM on February 1, 2011


Of course it's meta, because, like cowclicker, it's a commentary on you, the player being a rat, and of course, the scientist, also, being a rat... etc...
posted by symbioid at 1:37 PM on February 1, 2011


One of the creepiest games I've ever played is this russian roulette simulator.
posted by yaymukund at 1:52 PM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's called "gimp roulette," for the record.
If the link breaks in like five years, someone will be able to google the name.
posted by yaymukund at 2:00 PM on February 1, 2011


I have better things to do that this mindless driv....... wait Quest for the Crown you say ...... oh it's ON!!
posted by Senator at 2:26 PM on February 1, 2011


Don't know how I forgot about p0nd and .hack. I'll get those added in, thanks!
posted by waxpancake at 2:45 PM on February 1, 2011


I heard you liked games, so I put a game in your game so you can game while you game.

Also, someone put a metafilter in the boing boing.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:49 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Metafilter metagame is cortex playing Minecraft insde a game of Minecraft inside a mine shaft.

Andy IMed me earlier and I was all "OMG YOU FORGOT THE HARDCORE SUPER MARIO BROS LEVEL" and my brain was like Achievement Unlocked: Pester Waxy.
posted by cortex at 2:50 PM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been wondering if it's even possible to create a game of Minecraft within Minecraft, even ignoring the difficulties of making a display.

Some of the basics are there. You would need to build a computer complex and fast enough to host a Java machine. Are there any free/open source Java-on-a-chip schematics? Could someone build a Java machine in redstone circuits from those plans? Is there an export plugin in Verilog for redstone logic yet?

More importantly, would the world and engine support that many redstone logic circuits all running at once? Sure, we're talking about incredible lag, but could you even get the world to initialize and load? What would the time-to-render ratio be when comparing one frame of Minecraft to one frame of Minecraft2? How big would the virtual Minecraft2 computer be in a Minecraft world? And can we work out a better display? If so, how do we interface with Minecraft2? A redstone keyboard and mouse?

These are just some of the difficult questions we need answers for. After that Minecraft3 is just around the corner, assuming we can figure out how to load save files in Minecraft2.
posted by loquacious at 3:06 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Textfire Golf is one of my favorite ones that isn't mentioned. It's both an abuse of the IF interpreter system and a more complex (without giving too much away) take on golf.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:10 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


hey waxy you forgot Press X to Jason: The Game
posted by jcruelty at 3:29 PM on February 1, 2011


also that survival horror classic, Don't Shit Your Pants
posted by jcruelty at 3:31 PM on February 1, 2011


I tweeted Andy about it, but any of you that haven't played Syobon are missing out. Imagine four levels of Super Mario but edited so that literally anything can and will kill you. The game becomes a puzzle game rather than a platformer, as you struggle to figure out how many things are going to leave you dead, and in what order you can avoid them.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:34 PM on February 1, 2011


Also I guess this is as good a place as any to tell you about my new artform...

Last night I invented a new 21st century art form: VIRTUAL CRASH SCULPTURE. The canvas is GTA3VC. What you do is, jack a bunch of cars and crash them into each other. The more the better. Ideally you make them all explode, by parking a bunch of damaged cars together and then ramming into them with a car that's already on fire. It sets off a glorious chain reaction, and when the smoke clears you're left with a garden of charred hulks. I am the Picasso of this new medium. In the future I will use it to comment on gender issues.
posted by jcruelty at 3:36 PM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Pac-Mondrian
posted by jcruelty at 3:37 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mario Battle #1
posted by jcruelty at 3:39 PM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great list! I think Kingdom of Loathing could plausibly go in there. A lot of the quests and mechanics are parodies of other RPGs. (The level 11 quest is a parody of interminably long and convoluted quests from other games, which means that a bunch of players hate it because it actually is an interminably long and convoluted quest.)

I Wanna Be the Guy is still one of my favorite games ever. I wish that I could beat that last boss.
posted by painquale at 4:14 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Keep 'em coming, everyone! I have so many now, I'm going to have to write a new post.
posted by waxpancake at 4:20 PM on February 1, 2011


Syoban is a lot like I Wanna Be the Guy but with awful controls. How do you get past the walrus that dives out of the sky after you touch the flag at the end of the first level? I can't control my guy at that point.
posted by painquale at 4:26 PM on February 1, 2011


I knew a bunch of the games in the post, but Rara Racer was new to me. I decided to give the download a try (yay for making a Mac version available) and it was totally worth it. That crap was hilarious!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 4:53 PM on February 1, 2011


No Hitchhiker's Guide? If ever there was an abusive game, that was it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:44 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What? Hitchhiker's Guide was much less abusive than Douglas Adams's other Infocom game: Bureaucracy.
posted by aneel at 7:27 PM on February 1, 2011


I guess I'm less interested in abusive games and more interested in games that are commenting on other videogames in the process. The fact that they were abusive just seemed to be a common theme.
posted by waxpancake at 7:56 PM on February 1, 2011


This list is great! I would also include: posted by kaytwo at 9:24 PM on February 1, 2011


This was awesome, thanks all!
posted by !Jim at 10:24 PM on February 1, 2011


Abusive games are like abusive relationships. You don't really like them, but you keep coming back.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:26 AM on February 2, 2011


It's not quite in the same category, but how about Game Dev Story?
posted by Tubalcain at 6:23 AM on February 2, 2011


Oops, I see it's on there. Not sure how I missed that the first go-round.
posted by Tubalcain at 6:24 AM on February 2, 2011


I guess I'm less interested in abusive games and more interested in games that are commenting on other videogames in the process.

I thought that H2G2 was a commentary on Infocom games. A really nasty commentary.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:04 AM on February 2, 2011


How about Thy Dungeonman, the series from Videlectrix? The plot of the third game centers on your quest for the flask that the parser in the previous games wouldn't let you >TAKE.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:16 AM on February 2, 2011


Do the early MS Paint Adventures count? Jailbreak, Bardquest?
posted by kenko at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2011


Duty Calls
posted by Artw at 10:28 PM on February 7, 2011


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