What is a megagame?

Once you’ve read this article, check out our megagame glossary for descriptions of the terms the megagame community regularly uses.

Think of megagames as interactive stories, where you are one of many authors.

You could be the president of a country in the near-future, desperately trying to stop your allies starting a nuclear war, or an explorer on a distant planet whose goal is to expand your nation’s influence at all costs by using banned alien technology. Kings and scientists, prestigious nobility and sinister sorcerers - assuming all these roles and more are possible at a megagame.

But wait, this is only the beginning!

Other players also have their own roles, some of which may clash with yours. What if you both want the same thing? Will you work together, fight it out, or strive towards a common goal only to betray each other once you’ve accomplished it? Alternatively, you could be a master spy manipulating other players to ensure your nefarious schemes win the day and save the realm...or perhaps more precisely ensure your puppet is placed on the throne?

All this could change suddenly and dramatically as a crisis none of you were expecting raises its ugly head and forces you to deal with it. Or will you act like any good politician and use the inevitable problem as a way to further your own ends?

You’re in control and the decisions you make directly impact all those around you. Will you use this power for the greater good or to enrich your own pockets?

Whether in medieval Europe, a humanitarian crisis zone, or a fictional realm of magic and monsters, at the heart of megagames is you, your team, and all the other players inhabiting that universe for the duration of the game.

The only question is, what will you do?

Megagame basics

Whilst what you’ve read above gives you a flavour of what can be accomplished at a megagame, it doesn’t explain exactly what one is or how to play.

A megagame blends aspects of board games, LARPs, wargaming and role-playing into a totally new thing; a megagame!

Megagames generally last a full day and are split into turns, with anywhere from 30 to 80 players playing the same game. Players are assigned to teams and play specific roles where they usually have to manage resources and work towards objectives in the universe the designer has created. The megagame designer sets up the initial background and objectives and players are free to take the story in whatever direction they please, based primarily on starting briefs and their own imaginations.

Megagames can be hectic and overwhelming, communication is usually difficult but it’s so much fun playing a game with your friends or even as part of a team of people you’ve never met before. Trust us, you’ll soon bond over your objectives (and maybe cupcakes).

Dressing up as the part you’re playing can certainly help you get into your role, but is by no means necessary. A large number of players simply come along in clothes that make them feel comfortable, but if you enjoy dressing up, go mad!

Shut Up & Sit Down played ‘Watch The Skies’ in 2014 and loved it so much they created a video of their experience! Check it out below if you want to know more: