Slurspeak for "I got you."

When it's "Gotcha." it means "I understand"

When it's "GOTCHA!" it means "I just tagged you right between the eyes with a paintball."

Gosperism = G = GPL

gotcha n.

A misfeature of a system, especially a programming language or environment, that tends to breed bugs or mistakes because it is both enticingly easy to invoke and completely unexpected and/or unreasonable in its outcome. For example, a classic gotcha in C is the fact that if (a=b) {code;} is syntactically valid and sometimes even correct. It puts the value of b into a and then executes code if a is non-zero. What the programmer probably meant was if (a==b) {code;}, which executes code if a and b are equal.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

One month into the Falklands War, on May the 2nd, 1982 the Argentine cruiser 'General Belgrano' was engaged by the Royal Navy submarine HMS Conqueror. Initial details were sketchy, and it appeared as if the Belgrano had been severely damaged.

Two days later The Sun, Britain's most popular tabloid newspaper, ran the story. For the headline, editor Kelvin McKenzie chose the word 'GOTCHA' in huge bold letters. "Our lads sink gunboat and hole cruiser", the story continued.

"The Belgrano and its 1,000 crew needn't worry about the war for some time now".

As headlines go, it was fairly unremarkable; but as the story was running, more details trickled in - the Belgrano hadn't just been holed, it had actually been sunk, and 368 of the 1,000 crew would never 'worry about the war', or anything else, ever again.

Nowdays, the headline is infamous. To be fair to The Sun, reports of casualty figures were delayed and conflicting. Nonetheless, it seemed inappropriate to use a sports metaphor ('Gotcha' was a popular headline for stories about Cricket) to mark a bloody military victory against a forty-year old WW2 relic which had been struck without warning.

Later on in the decade, McKenzie managed to offend even more people with another headline - 'The Truth' - over a lead story stating that the Hillsborough Disaster was the fault of drunken yobs. That's another story.

The 'Gotcha' was an award handed out by the much-maligned TV presenter, Noel Edmonds on his long-running Saturday night show, Noels' House Party. Each week Noel humiliated other celebrities with Jeremy Beadle style pranks, whilst recording them with a series of hidden cameras. Things became more and more ridiculous, and eventually he appeared in a very bad disguise to reveal that the entire series of events as a wind-up and presenting the victim with their trophy, often amidst much blue language.

The award was originally known as the 'Gotcha Oscars', and the statuette was of a hand grasping a figure looking strikingly similar to the Academy Award fella, which led to a threat of legal action, and causing the awards to become known purely as the Gotcha's.

Famous victims of the Gotchas included:

Alan Titchmarsh
Carol Smillie
Edward Woodward (twice)
Meatloaf
Ally McCoist

But tied in first place for the best ever Gotcha's are

Richard Whiteley - who was subjected to the most incompetent contestants Countdown had ever seen.
Dave Lee Travis - his 10 minute BBC Radio 1, Give Us a Break, turned into an hour long marathon as nobody could answer the easiest of questions.
Gotcha was an early Atari arcade game. It was released in 1973, a year after Atari's Pong. Atari had great, early success with Pong, so great a lot of machines were breaking down because they could not be emptied of quarters fast enough. Pong status as a cash cow was short lived, however. Atari founder Nolan Bushnell made a small mistake in releasing Pong. He failed to secure intellectual property rights to the game. When he finally filed for patent protection there were some 50 imitators on the scene. Soon, only about 1/3 of pong-style games in public locations were genuine Atari models. Most were knock offs.

Bushnell concluded that Atari's competitors were good at copying but were not innovators. For Atari to make money, it had to release innovative games. The following year it released Gotcha, along with Space Race, Pong Doubles, and Elimination.

Gotcha was a two player maze game. The maze was rendered from a top-down perspective. The goal was for one player to chase another player around a blocky maze. Unlike Pong, Gotcha proved some what boring and wasn't a great success.

Gotcha was a bit ahead of its time in two ways. It was a maze chase game, a theme used with much much greater success by Pac Man. To add some visceral appeal to the "thrill of the chase" Gotcha used an electronic beep that increased in frequency as the pursuer neared his target. Asteroids would later use simple changing auditory feedback to heighten the player's visceral response to the game.

Gotcha is unique in that few games have ever had such a high "giggle factor" when it came to cabinet design. Each player used a fleshy pink rubber mound to move his player. To all, the game looked like it was sprouting two boobs and was quickly dubbed "the boob game".

While most versions of Gotcha used Pong's grey on black monitor, Atari released a few experimental versions that used color monitors (albeit in a monochrome mode, i.e., green on black). Gotcha has the distinction of being the first arcade game to use color without the aid of a physical over lay.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.