It’s no secret that game industry conventions usually bring with them voluminous quantities of rad promotional stuff. But I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as much intense, burning jealousy toward anyone as I do towards those currently playing Local No.12′s The Metagame at GDC.

The Metagame is a physical card game taking place throughout the week at GDC, and here’s how it works: conference attendees can get a starter deck by heading to the IGDA booth in the S. Hall Lobby. There are two types of cards: Game, which depicts a game and its details, and Comparison, which asks a question about the game. You can challenge another player by presenting them with one Game Card and one Comparison Card, and they must present a game from their deck that they thinks better fits the category. Since categories include questions like “”Which game created a more intense subculture?” and “Which game is deeper?”, you can see how this might start some arguments.

If the two players can’t agree on which game fits the Comparison Card better, they each have two minutes to argue the case for their game, allowing any bystanders to select a winner from the cases made. Whichever player wins gets one card at random from the other player’s deck.

That isn’t the only way to get new cards, though. If you bring a new player to the IGDA booth to recruit them, you get a bonus card. And remember, this all culminates in a huge tournament on Friday at 1:30 for real-world prizes, so if you’re at GDC, make sure you end up there!

Local No.12 has asked players to tweet their victories with the hashtag #metagame, to some pretty excellent results: “Scrabulous is more strategic than Warcraft 2and “DDR is more hardcore than Cow Clicker” are two examples of recent victories by game designer Tracy Fullerton.

Sound like something you’d be interested in? Well, if you aren’t at GDC, you’re out of luck. The Metagame is (unfortunately) a GDC exclusive for the time being, but maybe if we all wish hard enough, this could become a game conference staple.