Super Baguettes, Space World Cup, and Moon Pope: Collaborative storytelling in megagames through metaplay


Megagames are large-scale multiplayer analog games that merge traditions from live action roleplaying games, tabletop war games, and board games. Like other narrative analog games, they act as frameworks for collaborative storytelling through play and metaplay. In the case of megagames, narrative metaplay takes the form of web based after action reports and video documentaries.The community takes advantage of megagames’ hybrid nature to weave narratives where the actions of players are intertwined, yet not visible beyond changes to the game state. Narrative information is not clear to players because players are acting independently within the system and have a nontrivial amount of agency and influence over game events. Plot points that emerge during play remain hidden until the end of the game.The narrative events of a megagame coalesce during post game debriefs after the session ends where players discuss decisions and events from the game. Other perspectives and stories emerge through after-action reports and other forms of narrative documentation emerge from metaplay that surrounds megagames and the larger community of players and designers. Video and textual artifacts are the product of players who document and archive the events of each game. This presentation identifies aspects of megagames that facilitate narrative play through electronic paratextual accounts. Content generation and the content produced shows narrative play occurs within the megagame community through electronic and digital mediums as much as it relies on play in physical space. This relationship highlights design affordances for collaborative multimedia storytelling through play and metaplay.

Oct 21, 2019
University of Central Florida/Virtual
Jack Murray
Texts and Technology PhD Student

Games and stuff