Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.
In simple terms, using out-of-game information, or resources, to affect one's in-game decisions. A player is metagaming when they use knowledge that is not available to their character in order to change the way they play their character (usually to give them an advantage within the game). In general, it refers to any gaps between player knowledge and character knowledge which the player acts upon. Examples may include:
- Knowing faction goals and plans that you are not privy to.
- Adjusting a character's actions if the player has some foreknowledge of the long-term intentions of the gamemaster or Admins.
- Being able to operate a heavy weapon with accuracy even though your character has not had any training.
- Being able to solve mathematical problems when your character has previously been established as a dunce.
- Using certain types of attack or defense based on the strengths and weaknesses of a monster/other characters the character knows nothing of, for example a weakness to fire-based magic.
- Adjusting a character's behavior towards other player characters based on real-life relationships with other players.
Traditionally, metagaming is generally frowned upon in role-playing communities, as it upsets the suspension of disbelief and affects game balance. In Midian it is a quick way to get your cheating bastard ass kicked clear out of the Sim. Just. Don't. Do it.
If you have any questions as to whether your actions may be Meta, ask the people you are role-playing with. It's the safest bet.