power gamer

Timmy the Power Gamer, from Magic: The Gatheringpl. n. power gamers; abbrev. PG
1. in an RPG, a player who is more interested in “winning” through manipulating the rules of the game system than in cooperative advancement of the game story.
2. a gamer who takes advantage of loopholes, mistakes, and imbalances in the game system, or who uses creative interpretations of the rules, for his or her unfair advantage.
3. in an RPG, a player who introduces a powerful high level character into a group of lower-level characters for his or her unfair advantage.
4. (non-pejorative usage) a gamer who takes satisfaction in mastery of the game rules and optimization in character design; the gaming equivalent of a “hacker” in programming; a player skilled at minmaxing. See also metagaming, scenario breaker.

Addendum: There are two types of gamers — power gamers, and gamers who hate power gamers. Power gamers are often munchkins, who understand the rules that provide structure for RPGs, but do not understand the subtleties of plot, characterization, story structure, and character interaction that make RPGs so much more interesting and involving than the wargames from which they evolved. These power gamers do not understand why a more experienced player might choose to play a “weaker” character, and so feel themselves to be superior role-players. “Power gamer” doesn’t have to be a pejorative term — it’s possible to enjoy “hacking” the game rules, and still understand that the other players have needs too.

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