What is Meta?


Forgive me if this has been covered, but I couldn’t find good results from searching. (Meta is too close to Metal, and it is not in the one glossary post).

I see this word being used a lot, but I have yet to get a good understanding of what it means.


Competitive meta is what types of tricks and style is currently relevant in the competition scene.

Some people use it to talk about what type of tricks are currently relevant or popular in general though. Not necessarily in competition but just in general, on social media, etc.

Think of how the best characters used most often at competition in any given game is that game’s meta

Or if you play any TCGs, the top decks are that games meta


most effective tactic available

(ClockMonsterLA) #4

I didn’t realize it was an acronym. Should be spelled M.E.T.A. in that case (or META at the very least). But people are lazy, and so we get confusion as a result. Feh.


It’s not. It’s short for metagame. It just so happens that that acronym actually kind of makes sense

(Mk1 Yoyos) #6

Yeah, it’s a backronym, but it helps describe how the word is typically used for games/competitions.

(ClockMonsterLA) #7

It’s confusing because meta- is just a prefix, not a word, but it gets used as shorthand for different actual words depending on context. I just wish people would stop being so lazy and just type/say the entire word they are actually using (e.g., metagame in this case).

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But it takes twice. TWICE. 200%! TWO. TIMES. as long to type metagame than it does to type meta. I don’t even know how much time I’ve saved in my life typing meta instead of metagame.



(of a creative work) referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential.

“the enterprise is inherently “meta,” since it doesn’t review movies, for example, it reviews the reviewers who review movies”

Relative to these forums, “meta” would be discussion about the discussion itself, for example “don’t recursively full quote 5 other posts and put ‘thanks’ at the bottom”. :wink:

(ClockMonsterLA) #10

I think it is more accurate to say that metadiscussion is (self-referential) discussion about the discussion itself. Basically discussion that operates at a level “above” the context of the primary text. A synonym of metatextual.


Right and not-meta would be discussion about actual yo-yos and how they play versus… discussing how the discussion works. Just so everyone has more examples :wink:


Dv888 is pretty meta on these forums


That’s not really meta, that’s a community in-joke.


I was always curious how yoyo tricks become meta. In card games and such, it makes sense because there are new cards and strategies. What evolutions in the yoyo competition scene cause meta tricks to arise?

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“meta” in this case would be discussing how to create new yo-yo tricks, like… what’s your process for coming up with a new trick, how do you know if it’s even a “trick”, what makes it unique amongst other tricks, how do you determine if someone else made that trick first, and so on.

To some extent discussing how to manufacture yo-yos is a bit meta as well.

({John15}) #16

This concept still breaks my mind. Like, I hear what you’re saying, and it kiiind of makes sense, but I just can’t make sense of the way the term is used.


@codinghorror although you seem to be correct on its usage grammatically, the way @andy569 used it accurately reflects how it’s commonly used in internet slang.

It seems like anything that’s trademark to the object of discussion is considered meta.

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(Zammy Ickler ) #18

“optimized yoyoing” in terms of the yoyo-world.

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(Patrick Dressel) #19

It’s basically the current trick trend, or tricks that click the highest in competition. Right now if you go on a lot of high level yoyoers insta like Remy, keiran, etc, you’ll probably see some type of insane suicide trick, and some kind of 360 whip thingy.

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In a yo-yo context, “meta” always reminds me of the Anti-Yo YWET, which was an acronym for “yo-yoers will eat themselves” (itself a reference to the band Pop Will Eat Itself). Initially I assumed that to refer to the community killing itself by exclusivity or something. But Kiya explained to me that it’s actually the idea that yo-yo players will subsist on the increasingly rarefied content/style and use that inspiration to evolve. I think that was pretty prescient and we’ve seen that play out in the decade since the YWET.

We tend to dilute ideas to their competitive/tactical significance, so “meta” gets confused with “how to win”, but it describes any time you’re reflecting on where yo-yoing is or where it’s going stylistically. This thread itself is pretty meta. It’s thinking about “how the thing is done” and how that is always in flux.