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Updated Apr 09, 2017 at 07:04PM EDT by Brad.

Added May 17, 2009 at 12:57AM EDT by james.

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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.


In an article on The Daily Globe,[5] writer Justine Wettschreck stated that The Game originated in "the early 1990s" somewhere in Australia or England. An article by The Canadian Press[6] reported that The Game may have been created by London resident Jamie Miller, who claims to have started The Game in 1996. On August 10th, 2002, the earliest known reference to The Game online was featured in a post[4] published by blogger Paul Taylor titled "The Game (I lost!)", who claimed to have discovered it only six months prior.


The website Lose the Game[1] 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 a avoid thinking about a white bear.[2] In 1863, Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky described the same game in the book Winter Notes on Summer Impressions."[3] The game later became known associated with ironic process theory[3] in psychology, referring to the mental process causing thoughts to arise when the thinker attempts to suppress them. In 1976, members of the 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.


On September 14th, 2005, a site dedicated to The Game was launched at[1] On April 21st, 2007, a 4chan user placed the phrase "you lose the game" in the mailto field in a post submitted to the /b/ (random) board (shown below).

/b/-Rando.-nozilla Firefox ao b/re/25114802-htm1 WWikipedia (English) Hotmail | ® 0C Remix (> LiveJournal ( Photobucket Wikipedia Shitspace 4chan C ber Nations natica |- Remod File :1177209687 ipg-(5 KB, 271x150, GameStart jpg) Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:41:27 No. 251 14802 E-mail penis Subject Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:45:04 No.25115038 Huh Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:46:00 No.25115100 >> Oh f--- you. Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:46:22 No.25115126 Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:46:45 No.25115149 son of a bitch. Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:47:22 No.25115193 >> CLEVER Anonymous 04/21/07(Sat)22:47:29 No.25115197 oh god damnit >> Anonymous 042107(Sat)22:47:38 No.25115205 GTFO torYou lose the gan Adblosk

On March 3rd, 2008, Xkcd[8] posted a webcomic titled "Anti-Mindvirus," which contained the message "You Just Won The Game" (shown below). On November 1st, Newgrounds user Nutcasenightmare uploaded a Flash game titled "


On April 30th, 2009, YouTuber Sir Kristjan of Englandland uploaded a mini documentary about The Game (shown below, left). On November 6th, 2009, YouTuber detonateasplode uploaded a video with scrolling text containing the rules of The Game (shown below, right).

On June 18th, 2010, YouTuber Hank Green uploaded a video discussing The Game (shown below, left). On March 12th, 2011, YouTuber maakatea8 uploaded a video explaining the rules of The Game (shown below, right).

On March 3rd, 2012, FunnyJunk[9] user xenonvsky submitted a picture of a Scrabble board with the phrase "You Lost The Game" placed on top (shown below, left). On October 21st, 2013, a photograph of a cosplayer dressed as a My Little Pony character holding a sign with the Trollface and the phrase "You Just Lost The Game" was submitted to the /r/cringepics[11] subreddit (shown below, right). On August 24th, 2014, a WikiHow[10] article about The Game was created. On April 25th, 2015, Redditor query_squidier submitted a post about The Game to the /r/OutOfTheLoop[7] subreddit.


Search Interest

External References

[1] Lose the Game – FAQ

[2] Google Books – Leo Tolstoy=

[3] Gooble Books – Winters Notes on Summer Impressions

[3] Wikipedia – ironic process theory

[4] Arseburgers – The Game

[5] The Daily Globe – Playing The Game with the other kids

[6] CTV – Teens around the world are playing the game

[7] Reddit – Losing The Game

[8] Xkcd – Anti-Mindvirus

[9] FunnyJunk – You Lost the Game

[10] WikiHow – How to Play The Game

[11] Reddit – You just lost the game

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