While Local No. 12 is busy at work designing a new deck of Metagame cards for our Kickstarter supporters this fall, we have already embarked on another edition of the game. The art magazine Esopus has comissioned a version of the Metagame, and for that issue (coming out in January) we are expanding the game. Rather than just debating games, the Esopus edition will be about all kinds of culture from the last 100 years – from art and architecture to film and television to comics and literature.

We’re actively playtesting the new version of the game now, and yesterday John Sharp and I stopped by the Esopus offices for a playtest of the game with about 25 of the magazine’s readers. Learning the game rules were a little bit of a hurdle for these decidedlynon-gamers, but the good news is that once they got the hang of things, they LOVED the game.

The game had a bit of the feeling of the Glass Bead Game from Herman Hesse’s Magister Ludi. Playing the game turns human culture into a playfield, and to do well requires a mix of cultural knowledge, strategic thinking, social psychology smarts, and the ability to articulate your case well.

We’re finding more and more that the Metagame is not just a single game, but a game system (like a deck of cards) that supports multiple different games. We’re going to be publishing two of our parlor game variants in the magazine. Knockout is a highly social game where players debate and vote on the WORST  player’s argument each round. Verdict is a more strategic game that doesn’t have any debating at all.

Esopus has published more pictures of the playtest on their Facebook page. Stay tuned for more Metagame developments…