One More Thing: You All Just Lost The Game

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

This one gets filed with my favorite reader emails of all time:

I would just like to tell you that you should feel regretful about spreading the meme-virus of “the game” by means of your blog several years ago.  If by some miracle you have forgotten about this by now, let me remind you: the game is, when you think of the game, you lose.  The “losing” part of this turns out not to be conventional, like losing at a real game.  Rather, the losing is the distraction and annoyance you experience when this useless, stupid thought intrudes itself upon your consciousness.  For me, this happens every few months, for a few days or weeks at a time popping up every few hours.  During really bad times, the very thought of recall becomes infected by the game, and whenever I think about remembering anything I remember the game.  I don’t think I will ever permanently forget.

One of the worst parts of the game for me is my knowledge that I can never tell anybody about it unless I want to spite them.  Because I do not want to subject them to this virus of thought.  Why did you not have the same thought before you recklessly posted this on your blog?  I hope that you feel at least some pangs of conscience over this act.  You have done some really wonderful things through your journalism, and in many ways I admire you, but–and, please understand, this e-mail is NOT in jest–I wonder how you could have done such an ugly, inconsiderate thing.

Undoubtedly, writing this e-mail will make me think more often of the game for a little while.  That is unfortunate, but I have thought about writing this note many times.

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45 Responses to “One More Thing: You All Just Lost The Game”

  1. #1 |  RM | 

    I lost.
    Been playing for 3 years, this stuff is annoying at the best of times.

  2. #2 |  Sithmonkey | 

    ARGGGHHH!! I went almost three whole days without thinking about it…well played.

  3. #3 |  Fay | 

    Damn you. It had been a year and a half!

  4. #4 |  Mike H | 

    I actually kinda feel bad for this person. Obsessive thought-loops are a bitch.

  5. #5 |  qwints | 

    I learned about the Game my freshman year of college (2003), and have NEVER FORGOTTEN.

  6. #6 |  Aaron |

  7. #7 |  Sithmonkey | 

    A quote from a friend, whom I just reminded of The Game:

    “The Game is mental herpes! It can’t be cured and even though it clears up, it WILL return. The best way not to feel bad about it, is to give The Game to everyone.”

  8. #8 |  mb | 

    i’ve taken my marbles and gone home. or maybe i lost my marbles. at any rate, i quit. the secret to winning the game is to embrace your role as a loser. the Washington Generals got paid too.

  9. #9 |  anon | 


  10. #10 |  Kino | 

    I have short term memory lapses , I OWN the game

  11. #11 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    I think I won something, but I can’t remember what it is.

  12. #12 |  Josh K | 

    Insert obligatory “War Games” reference here.

  13. #13 |  Josh King | 

    Consider me afraid. very afraid. (I hope this shit doesnt get to me too.)

  14. #14 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    Sorry but when did you reference The Game (which I always think is f’n ridiculous).

  15. #15 |  max | 

    Wasn’t there a white bear in here somewhere?

    [‘Never mind.’]

  16. #16 |  Greg | 

    I just lost the game.

  17. #17 |  anarch | 

    What game?

  18. #18 |  thejokell | 

    I was taught that if someone reminds you of the game you don’t lose, and that the only way to lose is to think of it on your own. So telling someone they lost the game doesn’t do anything.

    Oh, and the only way to win the game is to call out victory within 10 minutes of your death. Fun.

  19. #19 |  Johnny Longtorso | 

    I have the blinding hatred of my enemies to distract me from The Game.

  20. #20 |  Saint Zero | 

    Yeah, this one I don’t get.

  21. #21 |  Bronwyn | 

    White bear? I always thought it was a blue butterfly. Shows what I know.

    Now I have to avoid thinking of polar bears AND blue butterflies.

    And I’m going with thejokell and not counting this reminder (thanks, by the way) as a loss. I do plan to lose several times today, now.

  22. #22 |  CC | 

    I was so about to post that XKCD but Aaron beat me to it.

  23. #23 |  Chris Berez | 


    Well, sanity was fun while it lasted. Hopefully utter, all-encompassing madness will hold some interesting surprises.

  24. #24 |  RogerX | 

    “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess? ”

    This is the first I’ve heard of The Game, though I think I can remain blisfully OK with defying the first rule: “If you know about The Game, you’re always playing The Game.”

    Though I will likely carry on with my own personal, thanatophobic variant: Continuously trying to suppress the realization that each passing moment, regardless of how much I enjoy it, is another step closer to the End of My Life. :\ I won’t let nihilism take me.

  25. #25 |  Brian | 

    The rules of the game as I understand it are:

    1. If you think of the game, you lose.

    2. When you lose the game, you must immediately announce your loss so that everyone in the vicinity also loses.

    3. The game resumes after a five-minute grace period, so that you are less likely to be stuck in an endless loss cycle.

    Note that there are no penalties mentioned (or possible) for breaking the rules. I broke the game’s hold over me by deciding to cheat. Generally, when rule 1 applies I shrug and move on with my day; I almost never obey rule 2. (And this was before I saw the XKCD posted above.)

  26. #26 |  Psion | 

    Radley … you have your own website. It’s a simple matter to craft a small PHP routine that checks a cookie, and if you aren’t the owner of the site, a second routine triggers with a 1% chance of putting the words, “You have lost the game” at the top of any page. In a little while, you’ll forget about it, but your readers will be subjected to occasional reminders.

  27. #27 |  Chuck C | 

    You bastard: I was at something like nine months.

  28. #28 |  Salvo | 

    Screw you Balko.

  29. #29 |  Bob | 

    No problem. I simply redefine the rules to the game 2.0. I cannot lose. If you even consider that, with your ‘rules 1.0’ to the game, you lose.

    Since I cannot lose, you cannot win. Sorry, losers.

  30. #30 |  TheDude | 

    God dammit, you’re sabotaging my gameplay, the whole lot of you.

  31. #31 |  gamer | 

    I was winning until now. Which means I beat you.

  32. #32 |  I just lost The Game | Amal Graafstra | 

    […] people are so upset by constantly losing, they write angry emails to bloggers detailing how hurt they are over people even posting anything about The Game. Here’s an […]

  33. #33 |  Vake | 

    Hi Radley (we met at Joey’s Thanksgiving party last fall),

    I’ve been playing “The Game” for years now, and the generally accepted rule is that when some loses The Game, they must notify all of the other players in The Game and notify them of the loss. Those players are then given a 30-minute reprieve to forget about The Game, and which point it recommences.


  34. #34 |  DevToaster | 

    There’s an app for that:

    I recommend keeping it on your last page of apps…

  35. #35 |  Bob Dobalina | 

    I haven’t thought of “The Game” in years and I’ll promptly forget about it. It’s stupid. Who cares?

    I am NOT playing “The Game”. Even though it may pop into my head, I don’t lose. I don’t lose, because I’m not playing it. There, mental anguish be gone.

  36. #36 |  FelixWilcox | 

    this is the [game] that does not end,
    it just goes on and on, my friend,
    some people starting playing it not knowing what it was,
    and they’ll continue playing it forever, just because,

  37. #37 |  davidstvz | 

    I’m not sure what game you guys are talking about, but the only game I care about, The Saints game yesterday, was won!

  38. #38 |  Kathleen | 

    I had not thought of the game in at least 4 years. I had actually completely forgotten it even existed! It took me a few minutes to remember the game. Now I have lost. *sigh*

  39. #39 |  Warren Bonesteel | 

    Dammit! I was cured…

    Now, I’ve been re-infected.

    (Memes. They’re more powerful than you can possibly imagine.)

  40. #40 |  n00b | 

    how can “the game” piss you off? tv adverts sap more of your time than some zany thing like this, but you lot love the “get out of my head” mentality.

    there is a lot of stuff to waste your time, this is nothing in comparison.

  41. #41 |  PogueMahone | 

    Oh… That game!!

    For a second there I thought you were talking about World of Warcraft.
    I know that I lose everytime I think about that game.


  42. #42 |  splint | 

    the BET channel always gets me because they’re contstantly running some movie called “The Game” and I always flip past it and lose. And then I curse BET and all those who work at the channel.

  43. #43 |  shamboliclover | 

    my ex got me playing it

    we constantly lose
    my whole i.t class makes me lose

    the game is thus fail

  44. #44 |  The Game | 

    I have been playing for 5 or 6 years now. It will never stop.
    I’ve added a link to this page on my website

    Check out the site to see funny and interesting way people around the world are losing the game.

  45. #45 |  The Agitator »How I Lost The Game .com | 

    […] One More Thing: You All Just Lost The Game […]