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You just lost 'the game'

Jess Hardiman

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You just lost 'the game'

I regret to inform you that you have just lost ‘the game’... I know, at Christmas and all. Sorry.

Many of you will know all too well about the game, having been disappointed to have lost countless times before thanks to social media posts, online forums or just good, old-fashioned s**thousery at school.

For those of you who don’t know about it, it will henceforth plague you for years to come. Again, sorry.

It is essentially a mind game that hinges on people trying not to think about the very mind game they’re playing – something that is obviously near impossible, especially after someone mentions it to try and catch others out.

He's just lost the game. Credit: Wavebreak Media ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
He's just lost the game. Credit: Wavebreak Media ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

As KnowYourMeme explains: “The Game is a mind game in which players attempt to avoid thinking about the phrase ‘the game’ at all times.

“Online, people often attempt to trick people into reading variations of the expression ‘you just lost the game’ on discussions forums, image boards and other community sites.”

The website adds that the game is thought to have originated somewhere in Australia or England back in the 1990s, with The Canadian Press reporting it was possibly created by London resident Jamie Miller in 1996.

The earliest known online reference to the game was featured in an August 2002 blog post titled 'The Game (I lost!)’ by Paul Taylor, who claimed to have discovered it six months beforehand.

A site dedicated to the game, LoseTheGame.com, was launched on 14 September 2005, while there are also various entries for the game on Urban Dictionary dating back to 2005 and 2006.

There are a number of entries for the game on Urban Dictionary. Credit: Urban Dictionary
There are a number of entries for the game on Urban Dictionary. Credit: Urban Dictionary

KnowYourMeme continues: “The website Lose the Game provides a timeline of events that may have led to the creation of The Game, citing similar games as possible precursors.

“In 1840, Russian author Leo Tolstoy played a game with his brother in which they had to stand in a corner and avoid thinking about a white bear.

“In 1863, Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky described the same game in the book Winter Notes on Summer Impressions.

“The game later became known associated with ironic process theory in psychology, referring to the mental process causing thoughts to arise when the thinker attempts to suppress them.

“In 1976, members of the Cambridge University Science Fiction Society (CUSFS) created a game in which the first person to think about the London Underground train station Finchley Central would lose.”

First you get absolutely thrashed at Monopoly on Christmas Day, and now you've lost THE game. What a rollercoaster.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News, World News, Gaming

Jess Hardiman
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