Student Voice


May 24, 2024



Psychological game has only loss

February 14, 2008

You are playing The Game. I just lost The Game. You also just lost The Game.

You have also just been cursed. For the rest of your life you will be playing The Game, but it’s alright, because you have been playing The Game your whole life anyway.

The rules are simple:
1. You are playing The Game.
2. Whenever you think about The Game, you lose.
3. The loss must be announced.

  To make this clearer, The Game is nothing. It is in your head and in the heads of everyone else in the world. The objective is to not think about The Game. To help, there are strategies that people use to train themselves to not think about it. Whenever you think about The Game, you must announce aloud “I lost The Game” resulting in a thorough explanation to any inquisitive minds that consequently ask you about your proclaimed loss.

  As unbelievable as it seems, The Game is internationally known and is thought to have been created nearly 20 years ago. There are Facebook groups about The Game. There is even an Urban Dictionary definition of “I lost The Game.”

  I found out I was playing The Game on Friday night at a crowded house party. I was instantly surprised that I had not heard of this popular strategy to make one go insane.

  There are a few deviations of The Game and a widely used exception in which if you think about The Game within 30 minutes of the last time you thought of it, it does not count.

  Another frustrating aspect of this mind bender (besides trying not to think about it,) is that you cannot quit playing. Everyone is playing as soon as conscious thought begins. This means the only way to quit playing The Game is to discontinue your conscious thought, thus, dying.

  My immediate reaction to The Game was that it is completely juvenile and a poor excuse for the modern Internet users and a demographic of college students and beyond to feel connected to the world. With millions of people across the globe losing The Game each day, it provides a sense of networking that drives people to spread such a non-material novelty. When one person loses The Game and declares so, the surrounding persons consequently will exclaim that they have also lost The Game and will most likely scold the person for making them all lose.

  But why do people play The Game? You do not know you are “winning” until you lose. Why does it exist? What makes an individual decide that their mind will conform to all the others that follow the non-existent rules? How does participating in the acknowledgement of such an idea better society?

  I argue that The Game and its absurd rules do not actually exist. This made my mind twist with a realization that one cannot have a mental construct of something that does not exist. For example, centaurs are not real but humans and horses do exist, which therefore brings centaurs into existence, despite their lack of reality. Since the actual thought of The Game exists (which is all that it consists of), The Game is brought into existence.

With this in mind, you lost.

  Teresa is a journalism major and a geography minor. She enjoys kangaroo burgers and creating pretty maps.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.