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.