The “Metagame” is Another Finger Pointing to the Moon, Not the Moon Itself

To begin to understand the metagame, the first thing to realize is that to call it the “metagame” is just a tool pointing to a complex concept that doesn’t quite lend itself to the words we have available to us. You could call the concept something different, and I probably will over time. For example, another way of explaining the metagame would be through the framework of stories. In one sense, it’s useful to see human life as composed of games, but it’s also useful to see the world as composed of stories. So another tool to get at the underlying concept I’m trying to point to would be to articulate something amounting to a “metastory.” A common Buddhist saying says that you should not mistake the finger pointing to the moon for the moon itself. When I use terms like the “metagame,” it’s simply as a temporary tool to point to something for which I don’t know an adequate all-encompassing term. I see too many people get so attached to specific frameworks that authors and thinkers have come up with, that they limit themselves by not being able to break out of them and see how other frameworks (other sets of tools) might be pointing toward the same thing. One of the best ways of seeing if you understand a concept is to try to explain it using a different set of images and tools and words than the ones you originally had the concept explained in. As I explain things, I’ll try to make it a point, to use a variety of images and even terms for the same concepts, and I’ll try to make it a point to point out when a term I’m using is pointing to something which I’ve tried to describe using different terms or images.