“Meta” reminds me of medieval Christian systems of organizing virtues, vices, and sins. If you start out trying to be a good person and look at it for general advice, you might learn a thing or two. If you think you need to stick to the system to be good, you’ll more than likely be insufferable to people who don't.
It has been a core aspect of competitive play in general. But yes, if you look at the roots of battle royale of even hunger games - the ability to form (often temporary) alliances with other competitors has always been a major aspect.
That was what got me.