Oh, there it is again...the game. We all know what the game is. We've all played it, whether consciously or not. For the few of you who are too innocent and unscathed to know of what I am speaking, I will explain it here. The game is played between two individuals who are most likely attracted and romantically interested in each other. That sounds simple enough. Two people want to get to know each other better and see what develops. Ahhh, but this is where it becomes confusingly complicated. Person A really likes Person B, but Person A must not act like Person A really likes Person B. If Person A expresses their true feelings for Person B, Person B will turn and walk (more often run) away. You see...Person B is no longer interested in Person A after Person B knows how much Person A likes them. Why, you ask, I like to believe that it is a character flaw, a weakness in the personality, if you will. If Person A would have just played the game, which basically means teasing and playing with Person B and not really expressing how strongly they feel, then Person B probably would not have left. So, in essence, to play the game successfully you must be an actor. You must master the art of hiding your feelings and manipulating people.

I despise the game. I loathe the game and all it stands for. Never wanted to play it. Never meant to. But I have found myself in the midst of playing it time after time. Why must the game be played? I have posed this question in many instances. One response that stands out is "we all play the game because we all need the game, even you do, just admit it to yourself". I can't accept this as truth. Maybe I am naive not to, but I refuse to believe that honesty won't make me happy and fulfill all of my needs. Refuse to believe that I must be lied to and made to believe false truths and fake emotions. I will not believe that my being is that shallow and paltry.

Very few times have I run into someone who says that they don't want to play the game and actually doesn't play it. When I meet someone like that, someone who won't play it and doesn't expect me to play it, I feel very lucky. This person is someone I won't let go of. When two people let themselves stop playing the game for a moment is when you let yourself truly feel and follow your heart. This could open you up to feeling some of the greatest emotions of your life or could open you up to feeling some of the greatest pain in your life.(Hence the attraction of the game.) However, you must realize...to feel the greatest joy you must be willing to feel the greatest pain. No risk,no gain.

The other night, I went out for a dinner meeting with a few of my colleagues. There we played the “I Deserve to be Thingame.

We met at the University and drove to Friendly’s in one car. The Spanish teacher arrives wearing sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt. The math teacher immediately says, “Wearing your workout clothes?” The Spanish teacher responds, “Yeah. I work out every day. I hate it, but it makes going to Friendly’s possible.” Then they engage in a “who works out more” discussion (which was much more of a competition than a discussion).

I work out, but choose not publicize it. I do not play the game.

Then, we pass the University’s fitness center on the drive to Friendly’s. The Math teacher brings up how often she has been there and how she is so above working there. This discussion continues for the length of the trip.

I do not feel above working out at the University’s fitness center. I do not play the game.

Finally, we arrive at Friendly’s. Before we start to work, we decide to order. The next fifteen minutes before we order are spent talking about how hungry everyone is and how long it has been since everyone’s last meal. The two brag about how hungry they are because they both barely ate today.

I had cereal for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch. I do not play the game.

And then, the waitress comes… I am ready to order a bacon cheeseburger, a cup of New England clam chowder and a root beer. Everyone is starved, so everyone is going to order big meals right? Wrong. The math teacher orders a small order of quesadillas. Period. That’s not her appetizer; that is her meal. The Spanish teacher orders a large… salad – with fat free dressing.

Now it is my turn to order and in that brief second of seeing the two teachers and the waitress look at me, I realized that we were playing the “I Deserve to be Thin” game. They had bragged on how much they exercise, said they were starved and now had shown everyone what they consider a “big meal.” Knowing this, I should have ordered my bacon cheeseburger to show that I was above it all, right?

I had the soup and salad special with a glass of water and a lemon.

I played the game.

bows head in embarrassment

One of many Mind-Fuck Games, notoriously known simply as "The Game". It instills fear by mere mention. You need a few people who know the rules, and at least one who doesn't. This translates into "pick a bunch of people to mind-fuck someone else".

The object of The Game is to figure out how to play. That's it. That's all you have to do. Easy. Oh, and everyone who does know how to play fucks with you so it takes you as long as possible. Here's what the poor sap who doesn't know how to play observes: One player names three objects, words, phrases, whatever. The other players that know that game figure out which of the people playing these three objects or whatever has to do with. In other words, correlate that group of three whatevers with a person present. What the poor sap doesn't know is how. And the other players name him some groups of objects - maybe three things that a particular person is wearing - to steer him along one line of thinking, and then it ends up correlating to someone totally different.

So what's the catch, right? It's simple. As soon as the third object/whatever is said, the next person who speaks is "it". The objects themselves have nothing to do with it - it is in fact not decided until after they have been spoken.

Example. Bob and Luke decide to play The Game with unsuspecting former friend, Freddy. After explaining to Freddy that his goal is to figure out how to play, this ensues:

Bob: babies, hotdogs, and 9-irons.

Freddy: What...how should I know?

Luke: Well, you should know, it was you!

Freddy: Hmm...

Luke: OK, I got one. Red shirt, blue jeans, white socks. (obviously describing Bob's outfit.)

Luke: What do you think?

Freddy: Is it Bob? It must be Bob.

Bob: Nope - It was Luke this time.

Bob: OK, one more. Babies, hotdogs, and 9-irons.

Luke: Well I should think you know this one...

Freddy: Ooooh, its me, its me!

Bob: Sorry - I'm afraid it was Luke.

Have fun with it, and for goodness sake make the poor sap work for it!

The Game (1997)

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Running Time: 128 min

MPAA Rating: R

Directed............................. David Fincher

Screenplay........................ John Brancato
                                              Michael Ferris
                                              Larry Gross (uncredited)
                                              Andrew Kevin Walker (uncredited)

Michael Douglas............... Nicholas Van Orton
Sean Penn.......................... Conrad Van Orton
Deborah Unger.................. Christine
James Rebhorn................. Jim Feingold
Peter Donat........................ Samuel Sutherland
Armin Mueller-Stahl.......... Anson Baer

The Game is very consistent with the style of its director, David Fincher, well-known for his work on Se7en and Fight Club. The movie is dark and edgy and always very, very suspenseful. Fincher's skill at turning the screws and doing it with style is unparalleled. Also in keeping with his style of film-making, this is one of those movies where it's best not to blink if you want to keep up with the plot.

Michael Douglas reprises his typecast role as a cold, heartless corporate bigshot without a friend in the world, seemingly by his own choice. His name is Nicholas Van Orton, he's about to turn 47 and he's in serious danger of turning into his father. His father killed himself on his 47th birthday. His life is neat and tidy and bland and unexciting and he likes it that way.

Then his brother Conrad, portrayed brilliantly by Sean Penn, gives him the gift. It's certificate for a game. Conrad, the free-spirited flip side of Nicholas' dour coin, promises it will "make your life fun". Out of sheer boredom and any remaining sense of obligation Nicholas feels for his brother, he visits Consumer Recreation Services' offices and is poked and prodded for hours and then sent home.

Then the game begins and Nicholas discovers that it is much more than a simple game. Much more complicated and much more terrifying. Nicholas gets drawn into a web of conspiracy and murder and the movie rockets towards a stunning and brlliant ending.

The Game is an astoundingly good movie. It may not have been much of a stretch for Douglas to portray a stuck-up businessman, but he does it well. Sean Penn, in a much more human role than his usual work, is exceptionally good. The supporting cast is equally good, guiding Douglas' character through all the twists and turns of the brilliantly written plot. The original script of the movie was not what Fincher had envisioned when he set out to make the movie and asked for help from an old friend, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker. Walker specializes in dark and twisting plots and is best known for penning Se7en, 8MM and Sleepy Hollow. After numerous rewrites, he was able to work the movie into the polished final product that was eventually released. The score was written by the masterful Howard Shore, who music never fails to prop the movie up in all the right spots and keep up with all the tension and mystery of this fast paced film.

Jodie Foster was actually lined up for the part of Christine, but was dropped from what she saw as a done deal. She sued Polygram and eventually settled out of court. Also interesting is a brief appearance by actor and director Spike Jonze as an EMT. Jonze and Fincher are good friends and Fincher made a cameo appearance in Jonze's Being John Malkovich.


Krista was like an anime girl brought to life. Long blond hair and big blue eyes, she looked like something that Ben Dunn would draw.

She had been hanging around my apartment a lot in the week leading up to the Tetris game, (she was the younger sister of my roommate Darrin). Little miss anime girl had been flirting with me a lot. I began to assume that she liked me. Now normally I don't even bother trying for extremely attractive girls, (they make me nervous), but for Krista I was going to make an exception.

It was just past 3 PM on saturday afternoon when she came over. She was smiling more than usual. She said, "I have something to tell you!". I replied that I had something to tell her also, (but for her to please go first). So she happily told me how she slept with some guy the night before. She then asked me what I had to tell her, after a long pause I said, "Well I was just about to tell you that I was starting to get really interested in you, I was hoping you felt the same way, but from the story you just told me, I can see that you are not". Krista was silent for about a minute. Then she said, "I'm sorry, I didn't know, I never really thought of you that way."

Somehow the conversation brightened up from that, (don't ask me how). We decided to go downstairs to play some Nintendo. Tetris was already in, so we played that. Krista started tickling me after I had been playing about a minute. I quickly lost my groove because of her interference. Then it was her turn. I fought back by nibbling on her earlobes. This went on for a while, back and forth, progressing further and further. Before it got too heavy I ran upstairs to tell Darrin not to come down because I had a girl down there, (he didn't know it was his sister). He gave me a thumbs up, I ran downstairs and started right back in on Krista. Pretty soon the blocks were falling, but no one had the joystick.

I am going to have to let all of you imagine the details, (I don't write that kind of stuff). But how the encounter ended is one for the ages.

Krista and I lay in bed talking about nothing in particular, just enjoying one anothers company. We hear a car pull up in front of my apartment. I hear the exchange between Darrin and his parents.

"Where is your sister" the father demanded.

"I have no idea", Darrin replied, (sounding annoyed).

"Well her car is sitting right here" said the father.

After a 30 second pause Darrin says, "Oh Shit!"

Darrin runs to the top of the stairs and yells "Krista", (in the most distressed voice that I have ever heard).

Krista kissed me goodbye, ran up the stairs, and out of my life forever.

A bored man sitting in his sterile cubicle talks to another such man in another such place:

"The Lattice-Work Gun-stinging Insect...Book title...That's the only clue i'm giving you."

From this, the respondent must find the answer to score the points and keep his chart rating up.

"Lattice work...Network...Stinging Insect...Wasp? Bee. Gun-bee. Heater-bee. Laser-bee. Rod-bee. Gat. Gat-wasp. Gat-bee. Gatsby. Lattice-work. That would be a grating. Grate. The Great Gatsby"

The riddle is formed by passing the original title through Japanese translation computers into Japanese then back to English again.

This version of 'The Game' is from Galactic Pot Healer, a science-fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. The novel contains futuristic technology, but it seems the translation computers have not got linguistics down to perfection, and loose spelling rules. This makes for interesting translations.

I tried to emulate this riddle-creating method by putting various phrases into Google translation services. I passed 'Can flies be made bigger to help reduce waste'
from English to German to French back to English a few times over, which offered me 'The crate flies can with the loss on the assistance reduce to be to a large extent always made'.

Not quite so colourful, but strange all the same

You are about to lose the game.

Rules of Play:

If you think about the game, you lose.

Point of controversy: If somebody else has thought about the game in the preceding fifteen minutes, you do not lose the game (a) period (argued by the Platonists), or (b) if the person who has already lost has informed you of this loss (argued by the Nihilists).

In the Platonic view, loss of the game exists objectively: we cannot know for sure if we have lost, but to a good first approximation we can have some information about who has lost recently.

In the Nihilist view, on the other hand, loss of the game has no basis other than in the eyes of the beholder, and therefore, not only do you not lose if you refuse to play the game, but you do lose if you are unaware somebody else has lost.

It is also a point of debate whether one is required to announce a loss of the game. The Kantians argue that one is required to do so but may refuse; the Empiricists argue this is a contradiction in terms.

Yet another area of controversy revolves around the issue of continuous thought or discussion of the game--i. e., do you lose if you're thinking about the game more or less constantly for fifteen minutes?

Also, do you lose if you refuse to play? The Existentialists say no; the Platonists and Kantians say yes.

Some people, known as Wobblies, claim that the grace period is, in fact, five minutes. Slokums reject this view and maintain that there will be one standard and better it should be fifteen.

One final point of debate is over the capitalization of the game's name. Naturalists argue in favor of non-capitalization, while Mooglists argue for capitalization. A third, radical, amorphous group opposes giving name to the game, and has been termed by some "Antinomenclaturalists"; most adherents of the ideology refuse to be labeled.


Murky, but thought to have originated around the turn of the 21st century CE.

NB: The Game seems to have ballooned into an Internet meme of sorts since this write-up.

A book by Neil Strauss about his journey from short, balding, high pitch voiced twentysomething who had no luck with women to short, bald, high pitch voiced twentysomething who was successful with women.

The characters he describes, "Mystery", "Exoticoption", "Tyler Durden", are not always appealing but most of us (most of us men at any rate) can emphasize with their desire for a little more feminine attention. They congregate and share techniques for getting women to give up numbers, affection and yes, sex. The premise of most of the self styled pick up artists' theories is that men who suck up and try to please women by doing them favors or by trying to flatter them reveal themselves to be of low status and unworthy of attention. Only by withholding approval until after a woman has earned it can a man create attraction. Or so the pick up artists say.

It's an interesting read although not much of a how-to guide. One gets the feeling that it is a least in part a marketing vehicle for Strauss' friend Mystery's sex life consulting company, Social Dynamics. It is also prudent to view Strauss' claims of success with a certain skepticism, as men have been known to occasionally exagerate their accomplishments in this area.

"The game" is, in addition to the subjects of many previous writups, a single by the band Action Action off of their second album An Army of Shapes between Wars.

Action Action filmed a video for “The Game” with director Travis Kopach, who is well known for surrealist videos like Straylight Run’s “Hands In The Sky (Big Shot)”. The video features the band playing their instruments in a padded white room with a window, which views out into a city, so I assume the room is within a truck, wearing space suits reminiscent of early space expeditions, also reminiscent, are the dials and buttons near the window at the far end of the truck.

Mark Thomas Kluepfel's slightly whining, cascading voice weaves through biting guitar riffs, drum beats, and bass attacks, all playing to the same crisp beat. This song is absent of synth or keyboard completely, odd for an Action Action song, apart from the introduction, which may only be found on the cd, not the single.

"So, you finally came right out of my head and into my arms. Now these feelings, I know, I'll never let go. I've beaten the game."
Action Action: An Army of Shapes between Wars. Victory Records.

I’d like to think of myself as pretty amiable, but I can’t be nice on this one.

As stated in the (now) negative 9 rated writeup above, the Game is a concept where everybody is always playing and if you remember that you’re playing you lose, thus making it impossible to win.

When somebody confronts you with this bullshit, you must do several things:

One: You must call the game an idiotic joke full of bullshit.

Two: You should call the person who brought up the Game an idiot for perpetuating this bullshit.

Three: You should tell them never to mention it again where you can hear.

Four: This shall all be said as aggressively as possible with as much vitriol as you can muster because otherwise the idiot will not get that they’re being an idiot and should stop instantly.

You see, the Game is much like television commercials and viral adverts. It wants a piece of your mental space. It wants to intrude and stick itself to your consciousness and it does this in a way that does not ask for your consent and in fact demands that you can’t even give your consent for it. It’s bullshit, if you think it is funny or fun then you’re bullshit too. People who like this kind of shit go on to make movies like 2012 and probably urinate on kittens in their spare time.

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