What’s a Megagame?

So, just what is a megagame?cropped-10947260_832983920080634_5115453899606583366_n.jpg

Megagames are large social games involving multiple teams of players. The subject matter can range from politics, economics, history, science fiction, or heroic fantasy. Much of what goes on in a megagame might be described as social play – though there is also a significant element of problem solving, strategy, negotiation, and, of course, humor.

A megagame plays out much like a model UN with a larger focus on military and covert operations. Teams compete for scarce resources and information, using whatever limited funds and abilities they have at their disposal, all while pursuing the larger goals laid out by the megagame in question. The most well-known megagame today is Watch the Skies!, a near-future simulation where the earth’s governments (the player teams) must react to and prepare for the appearance of extraterrestrials whose motivations and abilities are unknown.

>Check out our list of the megagames we’ve hosted so far

>Watch our “WCM Answers “What’s a Megagame?” video

>Watch our 11-second pitch about megagames at 2016 Sacramento Indie Gaming Arcade Expo 

The term “megagame” was coined around 1980 by Andy Callan, an innovative wargamer and historian; he was also a founding member of Wargame Developments. The concept of the megagame was then adapted by the famous military historian, and co-founder of Wargame Developments–author, publisher, wargamer, and TV personality, Paddy Griffith.

>Learn about the early megagames and their transformation to what we see today

Paddy organized the first megagames; the first players included many of the people who currently make up Megagame Makers. Together, those early players learned a great deal from those initial games with Paddy.

Who designs the megagames?

The Megagame Makers are constantly designing new games and refining their old games, often in response to players’ comments and experiences.

>Find a list of their games at their main site.

Our first megagame. 

The first megagame we ran in 2015 was “Sengoku,” a terrific game designed by Jim Wallman, one of the Megagame Makers. You can find a recap of our first game on our blog. We are constantly exploring what unique games to bring next, so stay tuned for more information.

>Find out about upcoming events

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