is an ongoing mind game, the objective of which is to avoid thinking about The Game itself. Thinking about The Game constitutes loss, which, according to the rules of The Game, must then be announced. The Game is continuous—once a player stops thinking about The Game, they stop losing. The Game is estimated to have millions of players worldwide.
There are three main rules to The Game:
- Everyone in the world is playing The Game. (Sometimes narrowed to: "Everybody in the world who knows about The Game is playing The Game.", or alternatively, "You are always playing The Game.")
- Whenever you think about The Game, you lose.
- Losses must be announced (a statement such as "I just lost the game" is often used).
As a variation, some players allow a grace period during which a player can not lose The Game again, after they have lost once. This can range from just a few seconds to half an hour.
The Game is played by hundreds of thousands of players, on the Internet
and in schools and universities in the United Kingdom
, the United States
, the Netherlands
, New Zealand
. Some players have developed strategies for making other people lose, such as writing "The Game" in visible places or hiding notes for people to find. The Game has been called pointless and has been known to infuriate some people. The origins of The Game are unknown, although there are earlier examples of similar "games", such as the White Bear Phenomenon